Chimney SweepI don’t know about you but when I think of a chimney sweep I get an antiquated image of a stooped fella with a soot covered face and collection of poles on his shoulder, that or Dick Van Dyke singing a song and dancing a jig across the rooftops of London. Typing chimney sweep into google delivered hundreds of images almost identical to those in my head. The images of modern chimney sweeps are in the minority but it is a modern service just as relevant today as in the past.

Fire fighters from Bedford and Shefford came together to put out a chimney fire at a home in Stotfold near Bedford on April 12th. The fire was fought with buckets of water and a stirrup pump and crews got support from an aerial platform which arrived a little later.

Debris from your fire can collect in a chimney, birds can nest in a chimney and birds can die in chimneys. You will sometimes get a warning if the air flow is significantly blocked as smoke will come back into your house, but you may not always get such a warning.

For the safety of you, your family and your home, and to minimise the need to call out your local fire service it is worth getting in touch with a local chimney sweep so they can check it and clean it and advise on the frequency of such maintenance.

So long as you do not use a lot of candles, potential fires are easy to predict – they can only occur where there is electricity, heat or flame so you need to be particular hot on housekeeping and maintenance in these areas of your house. Do not let any clutter build up in those areas and conduct regular visual checks at least on any electrical equipment and fittings, replacing anything that is damaged.