Many people fail to sweep their chimney or service appliances often enough. Either through neglect, not understanding the necessity or for financial reasons.
OF ALL CARBON MONOXIDE DEATHS IN THE UK 32% ARE SOLID FUEL RELATED 37% ARE MAINS GAS RELATED.
(statistics of deaths produced by kind permission of CO-Gas Safety)
CARBON MONOXIDE KILLS
Understanding the dangers Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. In the UK 200 people needlessly die or become seriously ill due to carbon monoxide poisoning annually. There have been surveys that suggest that these numbers are only a fraction of actual incidents as many cases of carbon monoxide poisoning go undiagnosed. An annual safety check by a competent person could prevent the deaths of you and your loved ones.
For solid fuel – GUILD OF MASTER SWEEPS registered chimney sweep
For gas – C.O.R.G.I. registered engineer
For oil – O.F.T.E.C registered engineer
Fitting solid fuel appliances – H.E.T.A.S registered installer
The use of an unregistered sweep can be a dangerous affair, it is only through established trade organizations such as the Guild of Master Sweeps or N.A.C.S. that a customer can be sure that the job that they are paying for will be done correctly and that safety checks will have been made. A registered chimney sweep will also issue an approved certificate. The use of an unregistered person can result in a false sense of security which may have fatal consequences.
IF THEY ARE NOT REGISTERED THEY ARE NOT WORTH THE RISK.
What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning? Many healthcare professionals do not recognise the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, as it is often confused with the flu.
Carbon Monoxide symptoms include:
- Severe headaches
- Chest or stomach pains
- General lethargy
If any of these symptoms are experienced, medical advice should be sought and heating appliances and flue ways should be checked immediately.
Making your home safe
To ensure that your home remains safe, follow these simple steps:
- Your chimneys and flues must be swept annually.
- Do not use any appliances that are not functioning correctly or that you may be suspicious of, until a competent person has first assessed it for safety.
- Your gas appliances should be installed by a CORGI registered engineer and serviced annually.
- Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm and test it regularly.
UK fire statistics show that every year over 31 thousand houses have chimney fires. This is due largely to infrequent sweeping, which results in a build up of flammable tar within the appliance or flue.
Many insurance companies will no longer pay out for claims made due to chimney fires unless the chimney has been swept by a professional chimney sweep and a recognized chimney sweeping certificate has been issued.
Also if the fire brigade are called out due to a chimney fire and it is proven that the chimney has not been maintained properly the local council can bill you for the call out, and in some cases this has been known to exceed £2000 per fire crew. Clean chimneys do not catch fire.
Smokeless coals: At least once a year
Wood: Up to 4 times a year
Bitumous coal: Twice a year
Oil: Once a year
Sweeping chimneys is now a quick, clean and modern process with very little disruption to you and your home.