Sweep before you light

Stay Safe: Matlock Fire Station Manager Paul Smith is highlighting the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue new campaign warning against the dangers of chimney fires in the home.
Stay Safe: Matlock Fire Station Manager Paul Smith is highlighting the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue new campaign warning against the dangers of chimney fires in the home.

MATLOCK firefighters are asking people to check their chimneys and electrical appliances after a series of incidents in the past month.

Callouts have included a roof blaze sparked by a neighbouring chimney in Oker, a fire caused by an overloaded electricity socket in Matlock, and an alarm set off by a smoking chip pan after the cook fell asleep.

The service is particularly concerned people will soon start using open fireplaces or wood stoves which have not been properly looked after during the summer.

If you have an open fire or a wood burner you must remember to:

n Use a spark guard

n Extinguish fires before going to bed or leaving the house

n Have the chimney swept regularly – at least once a year for all fuel types and more often for wood or coal.

Station manager Paul Smith is also urging residents to install and test fire alarms, check electrical appliances for wear and overloading, and never leave cooking unattended or cook while drinking.

If you find a fire, do not try to fight it yourself – call 999, get out and stay out.

See www.derbys-fire.gov.uk for advice.