Monthly Archives: December 2010

  • Clean soot from chimneys to avoid them getting 'choked off'

    Without regular cleaning and upkeep, a chimney can be seriously damaged by soot, according to an expert.

    Speaking to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Charlie Whitaker, a chimney sweep for 27 years, said that when a chimney fills completely with soot, it becomes "choked off".

    The soot itself is a byproduct of oil combustion, while creosote comes from wood burning. A lack of a chimney cap can galvanise the production of soot, according to the expert, highlighting the need for flue accessories.

    Mr Whitaker said: "It mixes with the sulphur and oil and becomes sulphuric acid. That eats away at the chimney and the chimney implodes and blocks itself. It's not rare."

    People should continually clean the chimney, otherwise it can store gases like carbon monoxide and threaten the lives of people in the home, he added.

    It follows recommendations from, which claimed that people should never start fires with flammable liquids and also invest in chimney inspections, as otherwise they could leave themselves open to a chimney fire.

  • Newcastle Borough Council's £1.1 million home repair scheme set to 'transform homes'

    Newcastle Borough Council will improve the flue accessories of many homes in the Silverdale area as part of a new £1.1 million home repair initiative.

    The scheme began in September and is set to renovate 69 homes in Church Street, Silverdale, while properties in Newcastle Street and Congleton Road will also be refurbished, according to local newspaper The Sentinel.

    Local homeowner Richard Forrester told the newspaper: "I'm having new felting in the roof and replacements of broken tiles, new guttering, work done on the chimney and new front doors. It'll increase the value of the property."

    Meanwhile, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) has told that property owners must be extremely careful when using heating tools this winter.

    CFRS advised residents to check that all heating systems are installed and approved by creditable engineers, while fires should not be overloaded as they could pose a safety risk to homeowners.

  • Southport chimney fraudsters target elderly homeowners

    Fraudsters in Southport have targeted elderly homeowners by falsely offering repairs to flue accessories.

    In one incident, the criminals forced an old-aged woman from the area to give them £1,000, while another elderly resident was escorted to a cash point to provide them with money, according to

    Southport north-east neighbourhood inspector, Tony Jones, told the website: "These bogus tradesmen have been calling out of the blue at people's homes claiming that they can see repairs that need doing on their roofs and chimneys."

    This news comes after reported that a chimney fire damaged a pub in Kent on December 18th.

    A fire chief told the website that weather conditions hampered the rescue, saying: "The water we were using to put out the flames was turning to ice as soon as it hit the ground, making the road conditions even worse."

    An alarm alerted the pub's landlord to the fire, which was travelling to the property's roof.

  • Chimney fire avoidance tips offered

    While Christmas may be one of the best times to set up a fire in the home, the very real danger of chimney fires could lead to heavy costs and the need for replacement flue accessories.

    Beverly Veit, a homeowner in Annapolis, came close to this disaster. She told that she was a victim of her house filling with smoke and did not know how to act.

    The website explained that the issue can be caused by a number of issues, such as the fireplace having a poor draw, while gaps in the liner or wind blowing down the flue can also be particularly problematic.

    As a result, the website relayed pointers from the Chimney Safety Institute of America, which said that people must regularly invest in chimney inspections and cleanings, keep the top of the chimney clear of tree branches and never use flammable liquids to start a fire.

    In a piece for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner this week, professional chimney sweep Charlie Whitaker told people to continually clean their chimneys or risk a build-up of carbon monoxide in their home.

  • Chimney fire damages Kent pub

    A chimney fire has damaged the flue accessories of a pub in Kent, leading customers to be evacuated.

    The blaze happened on Saturday evening (December 18th), after an alarm alerted the pub's landlord to flames which were spreading to the building's roof, according to

    Weather conditions also hindered the rescue mission, with a fire fighter from the scene telling the website: "The water we were using to put out the flames was turning to ice as soon as it hit the ground, making the road conditions even worse."

    Meanwhile, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) has warned homeowners about the dangers involved in using heating appliances this winter.

    CFRS has urged locals to be extremely cautious when using heating systems that have not been lit for more than a month and issued a particular warning about using log fires.

    Also, the service told property owners that their home heating tools should be installed and approved by credible engineers.

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