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Warning after 148 chimney fires in county
8:00am Thursday 12th December 2013 in News
FIREFIGHTERS are warning residents to take care of their chimneys following nearly 150 blazes this year.
There have been 148 chimney fires in the county in 2013 so far – many of which were preventable, according to Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service.
Home and community safety manager Stuart Garner urged people to sweep their chimneys at least once a year and use a good fireguard.
He said: “Colder weather can increase the risk of fire within the home, with many people enjoying a log fire. A roaring fire may be a welcoming sight, but it is essential that it is contained using a British Standard guard, and that chimneys are swept at least once a year.
“In 2013, there have been nearly 150 chimney-related fires in Oxfordshire so far, and I think some of these could have been avoided if more care had been taken.”
He said householders should get their chimneys inspected, particularly in the roof space, by a competent engineer to make sure they are structurally sound.
The plea comes as part of the county council’s Ready for Winter safety campaign.
Mr Garner also urged residents to look after portable heaters, adding: “Portable heaters should be unplugged before people go to sleep and clothing should never be dried on them.
“Hot water bottles should not be used in the same bed as an electric blanket, which should also be turned off before someone gets into bed, unless it is designed to be left on.”
Last year, there were 166 chimney fires in Oxfordshire, down from 2010, when there were 198.
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