Chimney health and safety

Chimney fires can spread quickly, putting your property and loved ones in danger. Fire and smoke damage often causes serious damage to the masonry and brick work, leaving you with an expensive repair bill.

All working chimneys should be swept at least once a year, although we would recommend increasing this to twice a year if the chimney is used on a regular basis. If you are using a solid fuel burning appliance you should have your chimney swept at least once a year. We would recommend this to be done before each winter as birds can often use chimneys as nesting spots.

Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer: it has no colour, taste or smell. Even low levels of Carbon Monoxide can lead to permanent ill-health or death, especially in children. The early symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning can easily be mistaken for ‘flu. Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning include nausea, headaches, tiredness, dizziness and pains in the stomach or chest. You should regularly inspect your chimney  looking out for sooting or staining around your appliance: it is a sign of inadequate venting of gases.

Obstacles and foreign objects in the chimney can stop or reduce the flow of air through the chimney. These include falling, cracked and damaged stonework, rubble, spider webs, bird nests and leaves. Blockages in the chimney prevent the dangerous Carbon Monoxide fumes from exiting the property causing the potentially deadly gases to enter.

It is vital that appliances are properly installed and serviced by a recognised and certified installer and have sufficient ventilation.

We would strongly recommend the installation of a carbon monoxide detector in your home, even if you do not have a chimney.

Please contact us for more information if you have any concerns about your chimney or appliance. We have a number of reliable and professional tradesmen we can recommend, such as plumbers or registered gas and heating engineers.

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