Fire Safety 

Fire Safety advice from Chimney Sweep North Devon: the dangers of carbon monoxide and why you should regularly have your chimney swept. 

Carbon Monoxide poisoning 

Look at the child in this picture 
Without a Carbon Monoxide alarm how would you know if they are merely asleep or suffering from Carbon Monoxide poisoning? 
Carbon Monoxide does not just come from wood burning stoves - it comes from ANY of these 


Chimney Sweep North Devon is a family run business, so we know all to well how important it is to keep to keep yourself, family and pets safe so please take some time to read the following advice on fire & carbon monoxide safety. 


Maintaining your fireplace with regular chimney sweeping is recommended for safety reasons. Without regular chimney sweeps the flue/chimney can become blocked so when you use the fireplace the Carbon Monoxide created cannot escape through the chimney. This can lead to dangerous levels of Carbon Monoxide in your home. 
Every year around 200 people go to hospital in the UK with suspected Carbon Monoxide poisoning of which approximately 40 die (stats taken from the NHS website, here). 
ANIMALS CAN DIE TOO - read THIS news story (with a happy ending) about how vigilant people should be and how you should take your animals behaviour seriously. 
Not all poisonings are due to blocked chimneys - however, it highlights that Carbon Monoxide is "THE SILENT KILLER" 
What makes the gas so dangerous is that it has no smell or taste and you cannot see it so you may not even realize it is there until too late. We strongly recommend fitting a Carbon Monoxide alarm to alert you if the carbon monoxide levels are getting too high in your home. 
A series of events in cartoon form to warn of Carbon Monoxide symptoms.  
Don't assume someone is drunk - assuming makes an 
ass (out of) u (and) me !! 
ANY fossil fuel (gas/wood/oil/coal) can give off Carbon Monoxide 

Thatched properties need extra attention. Just one spark, especially if the weather has been very dry, can cause the destruction of your own home and possibly other people's homes too if nearby.  
This is NOT what you want to see happen to your precious home 
Photo courtesy of blackmorevale 

thatched roof fire
Some Insurance companies insist on a certain number of sweeps per year. This is all very well, but if you have a bad chimney sweep to start with, they will only compound any problems, A build up of soot & creosote at the top of the chimney will  
a} Gradually decrease the size of the flue which means Carbon Monoxide can back up down the chimney - click the link to learn more 
b} Create a HUGE fire risk. A fire in the chimney will rage out of control - the place nearest the thatch will have the highest source of flammable material.  
If your chimney is damaged in areas you cannot see, there is a potential risk of sparks entering the loft area which can often then smoulder away happily for some time before ingniting.  
GET A RELIABLE CHIMNEY SWEEP and have someone check out your chimney regularly.  
An interesting document from APICS concerning thatched properties 
Advice on maintenance of thatched properties from the thatch advice centre in the UK 
Your house is your HOME - let's keep it that way. 


We know of 2 instances where unlined chimneys have collected soot on the registry plate and a house fire was only averted by both home owners because they turned the light off and saw the registry plate glowing. Had they gone to bed, they could well have been burnt to death or at the least, have lost their home and possessions. 
Your chimney sweep should, as a matter of course, clean the registry plate if it is accessible. If it is NOT accessible you will not get your chimney swept by a genuine and trained chimney sweep. 
For information on what a registry plate is please Click here  
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