Clean up your act and get your chimney swept!

It may be hot and sunny now but with the cold nights fast approaching, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding households to get their chimney ready for the winter months ahead.

As part of the national Fire Kills campaign, Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service is urging householders to ensure have their chimney swept by a registered chimney sweep.

Chris Barber, Station Manager for Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service said: “The end of the summer is the perfect time to have your chimney swept ready so it’s ready for your first fire of the winter season.

“To keep you and your family safe from fire during the winter months make sure you have your chimney swept regularly, depending on what fuel you burn, before the colder months set in and you begin to use your fire again.”

Get it swept

Real fires create a warm and homely atmosphere but bring with them extra risks. A poorly maintained chimney, hearth or fireplace can increase the risk of fire breaking out in your home.

By taking a few extra precautions you can enjoy the glow of a real fire and make sure you and your family stay safe.

If you have a chimney - get it swept - is the message from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. A chimney can become dangerous and a potential source of a far more serious fire.

Top tips for open fires

  • 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.

How often should you have your chimney swept?



Once a year


Once a year

Bituminous coal

Twice a year


Up to four times a year

Smokeless coals

At least once a year

Source - Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Keep it clean

To find a registered chimney sweep in your area visit www.hetas.co.uk to find a certified Chimney Sweep.

Notes to editors

  • This advice is part of Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service’s 365alive initiative. For more information about the initiative, please visit www.365alive.co.uk

  • There have been 73 chimney fires in Oxfordshire so far in 2016. Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has attended 1,278 chimney fires since 2008.