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Open fires and stoves provide a welcoming focal point to a room as well as being an alternative method of heating your home.

Heating and open fires: However they can increase the risk of fire in your home if they are not used or looked after properly or if chimney is not swept and maintained.

heatingKeep it clean

  • At least once a year chimneys should be swept.  More frequently if you burn wood
  • Inspect your chimney breast, particularly the roof space. Make sure that it is sound and that the sparks or fumes cannot escape through cracks or broken bricks

 

Don’t let the sparks fly

There is nothing like sitting around an open fire on a chilly day. You may feel like turning up the heat with an open fire or wood burning stove during colder weather.

  • Don’t overload your fire place
  • Avoid burning resinous woods
  • Only burn suitable fuels
  • Let the fire burn out completely before you go bed
  • Use a British Standard fire guard to prevent sparks escaping
  • Fit a smoke alarm on each floor of the building, check the batteries weekly. and change the batteries yearly (unless you have 10 year batteries)

 

Wood burning stoves

  • Make sure there is always enough air coming into the room and that the chimney is clean
  • The stove must be placed on a fire-resistant base
    • A well-seasoned log will have drying-out splits in the ends
  • If the creosote is not removed through yearly cleaning, there is a significant danger of the creosote igniting and causing a chimney fire
  • The chimney should be cleaned at the end of each heating season and at least once during the heating season
  • Never leave a fire unattended for any reason

heating

 

Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Make sure you have your appliances installed and regularly serviced by a qualified engineer
  • Ensure your home is properly ventilated. Never block vents
  • Only burn fuel the fire or stove is designed for and don’t overload the fire
  • Fit a carbon monoxide detector as an additional safeguard against the build-up of poisonous fumes

 

Portable heaters provide solutions to heating in multiple locations.

They are quick and simple to operate and will provide good service if they are used carefully and sensibly. However, any type of portable heater can start a fire if it is misused

Tips for all types of portable heaters

Do

  • Keep heaters away from furniture, bedding, or curtains
  • Turn off portable heaters before going to bed at night
  • Choose an appliance that meets the British or European safety standard
  • Follow the manufacturer’s operating and maintenance instructions
  • Keep them clean and serviced regularly
  • Extra checks are required if the heater has been stored and not used for a period of time
  • Ventilate rooms where the heater is to be used
  • Ensure a permanent safety guard is fitted. If the heater is to be used in one place, fix it securely to a floor or a wall

Don’t

  • Air or dry clothing on heaters
  • Leave children or pets unattended if portable heaters are switched on
  • Move the heater while it is alight or switched on
  • Stand or sit too close, your clothing may melt or ignite
  • Place heaters where they can be knocked over or where a door could open on to it
  • Use flammable adhesives, cleaning fluids or aerosol sprays near a heater. Remember that fumes given off from some products are heavier than air and will travel some distance

heating

Portable electrical heaters

  • Keep flexes as short as possible
  • Position the flex so that it will not cause a trip hazard, ensure it will not pass under doors or carpets
  • Ensure that the flex is not exposed to the heat from the appliance or from high temperatures from other sources
  • Unplug when not in use
  • Do not control a radiant heater with a timer switch or a thermostat unless fitted as an integral part of the heater

Portable gas heaters

There are now many forms of powerful domestic heaters available, which are fuelled by liquid petroleum Gas (LPG).

  • Ensure a Gas Safe (formally CORGI) qualified person services the appliance regularly
  • Change cylinders in the open air. If this is not possible:
    • Open windows and doors to increase ventilation
    • Extinguish other heaters and all other ignition sources, e.g. Cigarettes, pilot lights on cookers and keep smokers away
  • Check that the valve on the empty cylinder is fully closed before disconnecting the heater
  • Do not turn on valve of the new cylinder until the heater is securely reconnected
  • If you suspect a leak:
    • Do not operate the heater and remove it to a safe place outside the building
    • The equipment should not be used until all leaks have been rectified by replacing faulty parts in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Small camping heaters:
    • Take extra care with small camping heaters designed for use with a pierceable cartridge
    • Ensure it is empty and the heater valve is in the off position before removing the cartridge
    • Check that the sealing washer is intact before fitting the new cartridge

 

Have a look at the tips on Candles and other fire safety tips

 

Give us a call on 0121 439 1220 or email risk@fsmltd.net