Chimneys and Open Fires

We recommend the following simple maintenance routines:

  • Solid fuel fires – Once a year for smokeless fuel; twice a year for coal
  • Wood burning fires – four times a year when in use
  • Gas fires – Once a year if designed for sweeping
  • Oil fires – Once a year

The Fire Service also advises that you:

  • Place a fireguard in front of the fire at all times.
  • Extinguish all fires before going to bed or leaving the property unattended.
  • Do not burn paper or rubbish on fires in the grate.
  • Check for smoke from cracks in the chimney breast.
  • Install a working smoke alarm in the roof space (note: manufacturers may not recommend installing their product in an unconverted loft space and doing so may invalidate the warranty of the product. Please check the guidance notes or contact the manufacturer prior to installation)
  • Consider fitting a carbon monoxide detector

Soot and smoke from a small chimney fire can cause extensive damage to personal property while larger fires can damage the roof, wipe out the first floor or even destroy a home completely.

Ensure that your smoke alarms, including any fitted in the roof space, are in full working order so you have early warning should the chimney catch alight.

You can find our leaflet on Chimney Fire Safety.

  • Chimneys and linings
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Installing and using solid fuel stoves, (see also; link to the Stove Industry Alliance )
  • Solid fuel appliances and Building Regulations
  • Smoke control areas

Want to find out more? Relevant Publications