General Safety Info

General safety info

It is commonly believed that only gas appliances produce carbon monoxide but ALL appliances that burn fuel produce carbon monoxide. Your solid fuel stove or open fire produce hundreds of times that of gas or oil appliances this and the risk of a chimney fire, is why it is important to have your chimney swept by a competent person.

The number of chimney fires is increasing every year in the UK with as many as 32 thousand homes in the a UK having a chimney fire in 2010. A significant number will be largely due to not getting the chimney swept often enough. Other contributing factors are:

  • Burning fuel that is inappropriate for the appliance.
  • Burning fuel with too high a moisture content (logs should be less than 20% water~get a moisture meter).
  • Overnight burning / slumbering fire – *please don’t do this, it can be dangerous, costly and is highly polluting.
  • Unsuitable or inefficient stove or chimney.

A Good chimney sweep should be able to give you good basic information on the use of your appliance and fuel. This advice may well save you the cost of their visit in fuel savings each year. 

Todays Insurance companies will no longer pay out for chimney fire damage unless the flue has been swept and maintained by a professional chimney sweep.
Also, if the fire brigade is called out due to a chimney fire and it is proven that the chimney has not been maintained then the local council can bill you for the call out. This has been known to be up to £2000 per fire crew and we have been telephoned on several occasions on this matter.

Just remember if your chimney is clean it will not catch fire (because there is nothing in it to burn!) 

 Sweeping frequency according to NACS/GMS/SFA:

 Smokeless coals: At least once a year (Often believed to not need cleaning)
Wood: Once a season when in use on open fires, twice a season for stoves
Bituminous coal: Twice a year
Oil: Once a year
Gas: Once a year

NB/ for the purposes of these sweeping schedules there are two seasons in a year: 1. January to June and 2. August till December


  1. Good information about types of coals & other fuels from the Solid Fuel Association is presented in a very comprehensive leaflet you can download here:    Solid_Fuel_Advise_Sheet .
  2. Information including many common chimney problems and their cures can be found here:    Curing_chimney_problems

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