Home Sweep Home

Chimney Fire Safety Week will run from 7 –13 September as part of the national Fire Kills campaign.  It will call on householders to  have their chimney swept by a registered chimney sweep  as a poorly maintained chimney, hearth or fireplace can increase the risk of fire breaking out.

Oxfordshire has a high number of chimney fires. The fire service attended 911 chimney fires in  2010-2014, compared to 1601 accidental dwelling fires. That’s 57% of chimney fires, compared to the national average of 22%. The high number of chimney fires attended has been consistent over the last five years.

Paul Riley, Home and Community Safety Co-ordinator for Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service 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 such as ensuring your chimney is swept regularly, depending upon what fuel you burn and I would urge all householders to have a working smoke alarm in their home.”

“If the worst should happen, a smoke alarm can give you the extra time you need to escape a house fire. Make sure you have working smoke alarms by testing once a week and make a fire escape plan with your family.

“Latest statistics show that there were 6,000 chimney fires England in 2013/14, but most chimney fires are preventable. By taking a few extra precautions you can enjoy the glow of a real fire and make sure you and your family stay safe. ”

Chimney Fire Safety Week will involve Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service being  out and about across the county during promoting the ‘Sweep your chimney now’ message.

From 10am to 2pm crews and Home and Community Safety along with local Chimney Sweeps will be at:

  • Monday 7th September Monday - Faringdon – Market Place
  • Tuesday 8th September – Didcot – Area near Sainsbury’s
  • Wednesday 9th September – Henley – Market Place
  • Thursday 10th September – Banbury – Bandstand near Debenhams
  • Friday 11th September – Witney – Market Place


The fire service will also be able to give advice on open fire safety such as:

  • have your chimney swept at least once a year – more frequently if you burn wood
  • always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers
  • make sure embers are properly put out  before you go to bed
  • only burn suitable fuels and don’t overload your fire place
  • never place hot ashes in a wheelie bin
  • fit a smoke alarm and test it weekly
  • make a fire escape plan
  • fit and carbon monoxide alarm and test it weekly.


Visit 365alive.co.uk for advice on smoke alarms, escape plans and chimney fire safety.


To find a registered chimney sweep in your area visit The National Association of Chimney Sweeps website www.nacs.org.uk or call 01785 811732.


Or visit the Buy With Confidence scheme run by Oxfordshire County Council. https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/buy-confidence

Notes to editors:


The launch event will be held at Faringdon on Monday 7th September. Watch Manager Riley will be available for interviews from 10:30am.



  • This advice is part of Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service’s 365alive initiative.