08/09/2014

NIFRS Warning Over Chimney Fires

The Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is reminding the public of the dangers of chimney fires, after it attended 1,762 such fires last year, representing just over 7% of all incidents in 2013.

Chimney Fire Safety Week begins today, and the NIFRS is reminding the public to ensure chimneys are swept and cleaned regularly.

Kevin O’Neill, Group Commander, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service said: "With the colder months looming, people will start to use open fires and their chimneys again. In order to keep you and your family safe from fire, we are urging anyone who plans to light their fire over the coming months to be 'fire safe' and have the flue swept first.

"The rising cost of home heating has meant that open fires are becoming an increasingly common way to save money but we are encouraging people not to make cut backs when it comes to their fire safety. All chimney fires have the potential to be extremely dangerous, however, with regular inspection and cleaning of the chimney flue, the chances of a fire can be greatly reduced.

"A clean chimney flue creates a clear and safe passage, lowering the risk of the chimney catching fire. Sweeping will also mean that objects such as nests, cobwebs and loose brickwork are cleared, which also helps minimise the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Please also ensure that you have working smoke alarms in your home and test them once a week. If you think you have a chimney fire call 999 immediately and ask for the Fire & Rescue Service."

(IT/CD)

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