Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue is reminding residents to have their chimneys swept ready for the winter ahead.
Steve Screaton, deputy community fire safety manager, said: “Real fires create a warm and homely atmosphere, but bring with them extra risks both from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.
“Last year our firefighters were called out to 109 chimney fires. Although this was a 30 per cent decrease in the number we attended in 2013/14, this was still too many.
“By taking a few extra precautions people can enjoy the glow of a real fire and make sure that they and their family stay safe.
“First and foremost make sure that your chimney is clean and in good working order, that includes making sure that there are no cracks in the chimney and that it is clean of residue which could spark a fire, a blocked chimney can also cause a build-up of deadly carbon monoxide gas.”
Top tips to enjoy an open fire safely:
○ Have the chimney swept at least once a year
○ Inspect your chimney regularly – particularly in the roof space to check there are no cracked or broken bricks
○ Use a fire or spark guard
○ Do not use flammable liquids to light it
○ Do not overload the grate or appliance
○ Only burn seasoned wood (wood that has been air dried)
○ Let the fire burn out completely at night
○ Above all, make sure you have a working smoke alarm, fitted on each floor of your home.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue recommends contacting the National Association of Chimney Sweeps (www.nacs.org.uk) or The Guild of Master Sweeps (www.guild-of-master-sweeps.co.uk) to find a certified chimney sweep.
For further advice on fire safety visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lfr.