A Certified Guild Chimney sweep will be able to provide you with good basic safety information on many aspects concerning your fire and fuel. They will make many basic safety checks during the sweeping of your chimney and most of these will not require comment.
They check things like:
- Is the chimney terminal safe to use with solid fuel? Sometimes it’s not and is potentially dangerous.
- Does the chimney meet regulations regarding height, size or proximity to other structures? This is important to ensure it works properly. Unfortunately even some newly installed chimneys and flues are wrong.
- Visual condition of the pot, cowl / guard, flaunching, stack etc. You need to know if something is damaged or about to fall off. Is it leaking water in to your house? Could it block the chimney?
- Inside the house – is the fire too close to wooden or other flammable structures?
Is the chimney the right size and material for the intended use? Is the ventilation to the room sufficient?
- Are there conflicting problems with other fires or extractors in the building?
- Is the hearth big enough and made of the correct material?
- Is a carbon monoxide alarm fitted?
- Is the fire damaged, are repairs or replacement parts required?
- etc. etc. It’s much more than pushing a brush up a chimney!
Sometimes a fire or woodburner can be correctly installed but there are issues with poor function, smoke to the room, lack of heat, black glass etc, etc.
This is where the knowledge and experience of a professional sweep can make all the difference. Even if your sweep can’t solve the problem they have excellent technical resources and back up from the Guild to help them to help you.
Chimney Safety – what can you do?
- Get your chimney swept regularly
- Follow safety advice
- Use the correct fuel, don’t burn waste
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly
- Don’t dry clothes close to your fire
- Don’t store fuel too close, particularly logs around a woodburner
- Maintain chimney stacks and terminals as advised
- Use dry wood – less than 20% moisture
- Don’t block air vents
- Use fireguards where appropriate
- Smoke anywhere in the house is never acceptable, take professional advice