Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue has urged the public to make sure they sweep their chimneys regularly after it revealed that its firefighters attended almost 190 chimney fires in the county last year.
With summer drawing to a close, the brigade is urging homeowners to get their chimney swept ready for the winter months ahead.
Debbie Robinson, deputy community fire safety manager at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “With the colder, winter months looming, people will begin to start using open fires and their chimneys again.
“In order to keep you and your family safe from fire, you need to take necessary steps, including making sure your chimney is swept regularly, as well as making sure you have a working smoke and carbon monoxide alarm in your home.
“We’ve seen that chimney fires are a particular problem in Lincolnshire, with having been called to 186 fires last year.
“The majority of these could have been avoided by simple maintenance and good housekeeping routines.
“All chimneys and flue-ways should be cleaned and checked to ensure they’re free from debris and in full working order before the heating season.
“A blocked or defective chimney can cause both chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisonings so it’s very important to employ a professional qualified Chimney Sweep,” she added.
With the numbers of people using open fires and log-burners growing, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue is issuing some top tips for safer chimneys.
People should always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers; homeowners should make sure any embers are properly put out before you go to bed, and it is vital that chimneys and flues are kept clean and well maintained.
Lincs Fire & Rescue recommends that chimneys be swept at least once a year when dealing with smokeless coals, oil or gas fires.
However if you use wood you should have your chimney swept four times a year. and twice a year for those who use bituminous coal.
For more information about fire safety at home, or for a free home fire safety check, which could include the fitting of free smoke alarms, contact Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue on 01522 582222.