Arlesey chimney fire prompts safety warning

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service have issued a warning after a chimney fire over the weekend.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service have issued a warning after a chimney fire over the weekend. - Credit: Archant

A chimney fire over the weekend has prompted a safety warning from the fire service.

Following a chimney fire in Arlesey – which took place at about 4pm on Sunday in Stotfold Road – Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has urged people with open fires and chimneys to clean them.

In the last three years there have been 168 chimney fires in Bedfordshire, the majority of which were caused by a lack of cleaning, which can cause blockages.

To prevent chimney fires householders should call out a professional sweep regularly, use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks and ensure the fire is completely out before going to bed.

Thomas Warner, who is a prevention support manager at Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Keeping your chimney clean and free of debris helps prevent any build-up of combustible deposits that could catch fire.

“During the summer, when chimneys aren’t used much, they can also become home to birds’ nests, cobwebs or other material that helps a chimney fire start.

“Birds’ nests and other debris can also block the flue which means smoke and deadly carbon monoxide gas, released during burning, can seep back into the house poisoning the occupants.

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“We recommend that you have a working carbon monoxide detector in any room with solid fuel appliance.

“Under new laws that came into effect in October landlords are required to fit carbon monoxide alarms in rooms containing solid fuel appliances.”

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