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Date added: 06 January 2009

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Warning after 30 Swindon chimney fires over Christmas period - How to stay safe
Swindon chimney
Take care if you have a real fire
or a woodburner in your house
Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service are warning those who like a real fire in their house might just end up with one bigger than they expected if they don't take care.
Over Christmas and New Year, the Brigade dealt with 30 chimney fires in Swindon, with four on Christmas Day itself.
As well as these calls, there were three incidents on Boxing Day, two on 27 December, six on 28 December, a further six on 29 December, one on 30 December, six on New Year’s Eve and two on New Year’s Day.
And their warning is clear:
'.... that chimneys for wood burning fires are swept every three months when in use, and if you burn smokeless fuels or bituminous coal, the chimney should be cleaned at least once a year'
An annual clean is sufficient for oil and gas fires. 
Stay safe this winter
Safety tips include:
Have the chimney properly swept – using a vacuum cleaner alone is not sufficient.
Make sure your fire receives enough air to allow the fuel to burn properly.
Chimney fire
There have been 30 chimney
fires in Swindon in the
last 2 weeks 
Only burn suitable fuels.
Do not overload the grate or appliance.
Maintain your appliance in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Use a fire or spark guard to prevent accidental fires.
Inspect your chimney breast, particularly in the roof space.Make sure that it is sound and that the sparks or fumes cannot escape through cracks or broken bricks.
Make sure you are not at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning by having appliances installed and serviced by competent engineers. Fit a carbon monoxide detector and never block air bricks, vents or flues.
Extinguish the fire before going to bed or leaving the house.
A wide range of fire safety advice can be found on the Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service website listed below.
Woodburners and fires
Help and advice on choosing the right log or woodburner...
Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service
Chimserv - chimney services incl. sweeping
SH Forestry - logs
Absolute Skips - skip hire in Swindon
Self-Storage Swindon, Wiltshire
The Hair Group, Old Town, Swindon