Autumn has arrived and we start out safety campaigns with
the annual Chimney Safety Week from 7th -
13th of September.
Chimney Safety Week encourages residents to keep basic
fire safety advice in mind before lighting their fires for the
first time as temperatures begin to fall.
Most chimney fires are preventable - North Wales Fire and
Rescue Service was called to 217 chimney fires last year, which was
a slight increase from the 212 attended in the previous 12
The most common causes of chimney fires are inadequately
sized or poorly installed appliances, blocked chimneys and the use
of wet wood in burners.
There are a number of precautionary measures which can be
taken to ensure you and your household are as safe as possible when
lighting fires at home. A good way to begin thinking about your
chimney safety is to have your chimney swept by a certified member
of the National Association of Chimney Sweeps. Infrequent sweeping
of chimneys can increase the risk of chimney fires, and can even
cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Regular maintenance of your chimney will depend on the
fuel you burn - if you burn oil or gas, your chimney should be
swept once a year; bituminous coal, twice a year; wood up to four
times a year; and smokeless coals at least once a year.
Also, do not burn wet wood - all wood burned must have a moisture
content of no more than 17%.
When considering a heating installation such as a coal or log
burner in the home, it is important that you take into account the
size of the appliance. An appliance which is too large will never
become hot enough to effectively burn all of the fuel within the
wood, and unburned fuel will pass up the chimney as
smoke,condensing within the flue as extremely flammable
Finally, to reduce the risk of fire in your home, always make sure
embers are properly put out before you go to bed and use a fire
guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers.
If the worst should happen, a smoke alarm can give you the extra
time you need to escape in a house fire - so make sure you
test yours regularly. Remember, if you don't have a smoke alarm,
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service can fit one for free - to
register visit www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk or call our 24 hour
hotline free on 0800 169 1234.
Spreading the word on student fire safety
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service will be working in
higher education establishments across North Wales during
September and October to ensure students are as safe as possible
from fires and road traffic
Staff will be attending a number of 'Fresher's Fair'
events to advise on fire and road safety for students at Grwp
Llandrillio Menai, Coleg Cambria, Bangor University, Glyndwr
University and Airbus campuses.
If you're starting university or college this month, or if your
loved ones are leaving homes and you want to make sure they stay
safe, our Facebook site is a great source of relevant fire safety
information - visit www.facebook/northwalesfireservice
and follow our page to keep up to date with safety advice.
We will be posting photos and advice following our visits to the
campuses, and we'll also be launching a special safety competition
If you have any questions or queries, don't hesitate to get in
touch - social
networking is all about communication and we want to make sure
that everyone is as informed as possible.