Fire services attended 2,520 fires involving chimneys/ flues/ soot/ hot ashes in 2016, 2,731 such fires in 2015 and 2,668 such fires in 2014. This underlines the need for campaigns aimed at reducing the prevalence of this type of fire and the advice which fire services promote each year.
My Department works with local authority fire services and issues advice on fire safety, and recommends that chimneys are cleaned regularly - at least annually, and more frequently for wood or turf burning stoves. My Department has no function in regulating the provision of services such as chimney sweeping but recommends that stoves, boilers and other heat producing appliances and the flues associated with them are serviced regularly by competent persons. Installation of carbon monoxide alarms is also recommended, and this is a requirement under Building Regulations when new stoves are installed. Installation of stoves should be carried out by a competent installer and in line with the requirements of Technical Guidance Document J (Heat Producing Appliances) - Building Regulations to include proper construction of hearth and flue, adequate ventilation, and to enable regular cleaning of flues.