Blazes prompt Sidmouth and Ottery chimney plea

FIREFIGHTERS from Sidmouth and Ottery are urging residents using open fires to check chimneys before lighting up.

The message comes after the fire service had a busy weekend tackling a total of eight chimney fires across the region.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said cleaning the chimney and fitting a smoke alarm would reduce any risk.

Fire investigation officer, Mike Burroughs, said: “With the nights still being quite cold people have naturally been warming up their homes by lighting the traditional home fire, but without proper maintenance a chimney can become dangerous. To keep yourself and your family safe from fire you should take care to have your chimney swept regularly, depending upon what fuel you burn. 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.”

l For more information on chimney fires

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