Chimney Sweeping

Having your chimney swept is vital to the safety of you and your family. This video guide shows you what’s involved and what to look out for.

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It is essential when you are using a solid fuel appliance and burning coal or ovals, that you use it in a safe manner. Misuse of an appliance or improper maintenance can have potentially life threatening implications. The majority of issues with an appliance are extremely preventable through maintenance of your appliance correctly.

One of the simplest steps you can take to prevent problems is to ensure that your appliance is regularly swept and cleaned. The modern sweep process is extremely clean. The fireplace is masked off to prevent any dust or soot from entering the room and sheets are used to protect carpets and furniture. Only once these measures are in place does the sweep typically begin the process.

When using fuel, if the fire does not burn efficiently there can be a build up of materials in the flue. These deposited materials can build up over time and can cause a chimney fire. Chimney fires burn extremely hot, often reaching temperatures up to 1200c. Sweeping regularly removes this flammable build up, ensuring hot air and gasses can proceed through the chimney safely. The improved draft through the appliance once swept, significantly improves the efficiency with the fuel. This reduces further build up and helps to maximise the fuel you have purchased.

When being swept, any other blockages that may exist within the chimney can be found. Materials such as birds nests or loose bricks are common and can obscure the chimney space. These obstacles can affect the up-draft of the chimney, which when burning fuels, can result in gases entering the room rather than drawn through the flue out of the property.

Is there any chance, I’ve heard about possibly carbon monoxide coming into the room? Is that possible?

Yes it is, if the chimney is damaged by a chimney fire and gaps occur in the joints and then the chimney then smoke is going to get into the cavity wall or into the upstairs accommodation which could prove fatal to someone in an upstairs room perhaps sleeping.

Because of carbon monoxide?

Yes exactly.

The best time to have your chimney swept is just before winter begins, this way you can keep warm throughout winter, safe in the knowledge everything is in good working order.

How often should you have your chimney swept?

The fire service recommend once a year for all chimneys including gas fires.

Is it the same frequency for smokeless fuel or bituminous coal?

Smokeless fuel needs it less frequently. The recommended intervals are coal, six months, smokeless fuel, once a year and burning wood you are suppose to sweep it every 3 months.

Once cleaned, you should receive a numbered and dated receipt certifying that you appliance has been swept. This can be useful for house insurance should anything go wrong.

For further information on solid fuel, including more detail on maintaining your appliance and health and safety tips, please visit, or contact us on the number shown.

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