AS THE winter draws in, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is reminding residents to get their chimneys swept to avoid fires.
A spokesperson for ESFRS said: “It is currently Chimney Fire Safety Week (9-15 September 2013) and anyone planning to use open fires in their homes or properties need to take extra care.
“If a chimney fire is left unattended, it can spread into the rest of the property but there are some easy ways to reduce the chances of your chimney catching alight.”
* Check chimneys and flues on a regular basis and ensure they are clean and well maintained.
* Fireguards protect against flying sparks from hot embers and can prevent clothing catching alight.
* Always ensure the fire is extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house.
* Check air vents and air bricks are clear of blockages. Never do anything which will stop or interrupt the air supply.
* Keep furniture a safe distance away. Do not sit too close as clothing could catch alight.
* Always use a good quality fuel.
Chimneys should be swept according to the type of fuel used.
There are some signs you can look out for if you think you have a chimney fire:
* A loud roaring noise.
* Sparks and flames shooting from the chimney top.
* A glowing or shimmering appliance outlet or connector.
* Vibrating appliance, outlet or connector.
* Flames visible through any tiny cracks in the outlet or connector.
* Smoke and odours in adjoining rooms or loft space.
* The heating up of the chimney breast or flue pipe, in the same room as the appliance and other rooms the flue passes through.
If you do have a fire, get out of the building, stay out and call 999.