Wood stove and chimney fire warning as brigades tackle rise in call outs

Emergency service call outs to wood burner stove fires have tripled for the brigade that covers Kidderminster and Bewdley.

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said in addition to a spate of chimney blazes, it has seen a significant rise in burner incidents with seven incidents recorded between January 20 and 27 alone.

A total of 75 burner incidents were recorded in 2022 compared to 22 the previous year.

Meanwhile in December and January firefighters put out to 30 chimney fires, including 17 last month.

There were 79 chimney fires recorded in 2022 and 1,407 in total recorded over the 10 years between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2022.

Now the fire service is urging residents to call in an approved chimney sweep to prevent damage and and household fires.

It said wood-burning stoves were growing in popularity due to the spiralling cost of gas and electricity, but owners were also being urged to ensure they are correctly installed and regularly maintained.

Emma Roberts

Prevention head Emma Roberts said: “Sweeping your chimney at least once a year and using a quality-assured fuel is the key to prevention. Not only does this remove soot and tar deposits, but also gives chimney sweeps the opportunity to check for any problems with the chimney or liner. A typical sweep only takes about 90 minutes and doesn’t make a mess.

“Professional chimney sweeps use modern methods and tools such as power-sweeping, CCTV and vacuums to ensure minimal disturbance for the homeowner. Customers don’t need to move all of their furniture out of the room.

“So, if your chimney is overdue for a sweep, now is the time to get it done and not add to the list of chimney fires.”

Details of approved chimney sweeps are available from the Heating Equipment Testing and Approvals Scheme(HETAS) on 01684 278170.

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