Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Is your chimney ready for colder weather?

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents with open fires and log burners to get their chimneys swept and inspected before winter.

The Service usually sees a spike in chimney fires in colder weather and by taking simple steps to clean and inspect your chimney ahead of winter, Essex residents can reduce the risk of a house fire.

Nick Singleton, Operational and Community Risk Manager for North Essex said: “Most chimney fires are preventable. Always get your chimney swept at least once a year by a suitable tradesperson and they will issue you a certificate for your insurance company.

“Ensure you check your chimney in the loft for any signs of cracks or corrosion.

“If you have a wood burner, we recommend that you have a carbon monoxide alarm within the room to give you any early warning. Also ensure your smoke alarms on every level are tested once a week.”

Keep your family and home safe by following Essex County Fire and Rescue Service's chimney safety advice:

  • Have your chimney swept at least once a year, or more frequently if you burn wood
  • Do not stack fires too high and remember to let them burn down well before you go to bed
  • Use a fire or spark guard
  • Do not place objects on or over the mantle-piece which may cause you to stand too close to the fire to reach or use them
  • Inspect your chimney regularly - particularly in the roof space - to ensure that it is sound and that sparks or fumes cannot escape through cracks or broken bricks
  • Avoid burning resinous woods as soot builds up quickly. Suitable seasoned timber must be used in all solid fuel stoves
  • Buy only suitable fuels. Using the wrong type of fuel on a liner will reduce the life of the liner considerably due to increased corrosion

For more chimney fire safety advice, visit:

Page last updated 3rd September, 2021

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