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Further advice issued after spike in chimney fires

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Fire crews were called to six chimney fires within a 24-hour period between Friday and Saturday (22 – 23 March), plus two further chimney fires on Sunday evening (24 March).

These included five chimney fires on Friday 22 March, at Upton-upon-Severn (11.45am), Bishops Frome (1.45pm), Birlingham, near Pershore (3.55pm), Grafton Flyford (5.05pm) and Much Birch (10.45pm); one chimney fire at Stoulton at 1.45am on Saturday 23 March, plus chimney fires at Eardisley (7.25pm) and Bewdley (8.15pm) on Sunday 24 March.

Station Commander Alan Haley from HWFRS’s Community Safety department said: “We issued a reminder on chimney safety just a couple of weeks ago when we experienced a peak in chimney fires over a period of seven days. From Friday through to Saturday, however, crews were called out to six separate chimney fires in less than 24 hours, and so we are keen to ensure that those with real fires or log burners have noted our advice and are doing all that they can to prevent a chimney fire in their own home.”

He stressed that the majority of chimney fires are avoidable, simply by having chimneys swept regularly and burning only the recommended fuel for the particular type of fire you have.

He added: “Clearly the more you light your fire or woodburner, the quicker the build-up of soot and other debris in the chimney, and the more often it will need sweeping.”

He urged people not to risk a chimney fire but instead to book an appointment now with an approved chimney sweep if their chimney is due a clean.