VIDEO: Dorset Fire and Rescue Service offer tips for Chimney Fire Safety Week
DORSET Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) are reminding residents to ensure their chimney is ready for the winter as part of the Fire Kills campaign.
This week is Chimney Fire Safety Week, with some top tips being offered to householders to keep their homes safe.
Kate Huelin, Prevention Manager at DFRS said: "With the colder winter months looming, people will begin to start using open fires and their chimneys again.
"In order to keep you and your family safe from fire, you need to take necessary steps such as ensuring your chimney is swept regularly."
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When a chimney is being used, always make sure a fire guard is used to protect against flying sparks from hot embers.
Embers should always be put out properly before you go to bed and chimney and flues should be kept clean and well maintained.
"Latest statistics show that there are approximately 7,000 chimney fires a year in England" added Ms Huelin. "In 2012, DFRS attended 189 chimney fires, but most of these are preventable.
"All chimneys and flue-ways should be cleaned and checked during the summer months to ensure they're free from debris and in full working order before the heating season.
"A blocked or defective chimney can cause both chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisonings so it's very important to employ a professional qualified chimney sweep."
Wood fire chimneys should be swept up to four times a year, smokeless coals should be swept at least once a year. Bituminous coal fires should have the chimney swept twice a year, while oil and gas fires should have chimneys swept once a year.
Watch a video below, offering chimney fire safety advice from Dorset Fire and Rescue Service.