Jim West - Chimney Sweep
Clean, Professional and Reliable.

Hertfordshire, North London and surrounding areas
Tel:  01707 594 345

Tel:  01905 928 285
Chimney Safety

Carbon Monoxide

The biggest safety concern when it comes to chimneys is Carbon Monoxide. It is an odourless and invisible gas that is fatal. A chimneys’ purpose is to draw carbon monoxide, smoke and other gasses out of the room. It is only when the chimney is not working correctly that there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Chimney problems can be caused by a wide variety of reasons, so it is important that your chimney is appropriately maintained to prevent any risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Also it is strongly advised that you have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted. It is a legal requirement that new stove installations include a carbon monoxide alarm. If you suspect that the chimney is not working correctly then you should stop using the appliance immediately. Signs of this may be a smell of smoke, scorch marks appearing around the fireplace, or trouble lighting the appliance. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are: dull headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, loss of consciousness.

Chimney fire

Chimney fires are caused by a build-up of flammable material inside the chimney. This can be a large amount of soot due to a lack of sweeping. Or it can be a build-up of tar or creosote, which is due to burning the incorrect fuel, particularly damp wood. Chimney fires are damaging to the chimney and present a fire risk to the property. As a good rule of thumb, a chimney should be swept every year (sometimes more if it is used a lot) to prevent a dangerous build-up of soot. Any wood used should be below 20% moisture. Wood needs to be properly seasoned for two years to ensure it is dry enough.