Sharp increase in chimney fires across Sussex

PEOPLE are being urged to sweep their chimney on a regular basis following an increase in the number of chimney fires over the past two months.

This year, there have been 82 chimney fires reported in East Sussex (between January 1 and February 25) compared to 60 for the same period for last year .

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is encouraging homeowners to follow the necessary precautions to safeguard against fire.

ESFRS is reminding people of the importance of ensuring chimneys are swept regularly and are clean and safe for use.

Steve Wright, community safety manager, said: “Chimney fires are a common cause of fire in dwellings and can cause widespread damage.

“An open fire is an ideal way to keep warm but without proper maintenance a chimney can become dangerous.

“In the last two years alone we have attended more than 455 incidents involving chimney fires.

“To keep yourself and your family safe from fire you should have your chimney swept regularly.

“If the worst should happen, a smoke alarm can give you the extra time you need to escape in a house fire. Make sure you test yours regularly.”