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Safety

A Guild certified chimney sweep will provide you with good safety information on many aspects concerning your fire and fuel. They will make many basic safety checks during the sweeping of your chimney.

Guild sweeps inspect potential issues, such as:-

  • 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 some new chimneys, flues and flue liners can be installed incorrectly).
  • 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?

Chimney sweeping isn’t just about pushing a brush up a chimney! Your local Guild sweep will test other matters, including:-

  • 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 working carbon monoxide alarm fitted?
  • Is the fire damaged? If so, are repairs or replacement parts required?

Even if a woodburner or open fire is correctly installed, there can be problems with poor function, smoke to the room, lack of heat, black glass, 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 per cent moisture
  • Don’t block air vents
  • Use fireguards where appropriate
  • Smoke anywhere in the house is never acceptable, take professional advice

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