FIRED UP: Stanthorpe FIre Station captain, Ian Barnden with firefighter, Sam Maugeri.
FIRED UP: Stanthorpe FIre Station captain, Ian Barnden with firefighter, Sam Maugeri. DEIRDRE SMITH

Firefighters hot about chimneys

WITH the cold weather upon us and log fires being a popular way to keep warm, the captain of Stanthorpe Fire Station, Ian Barnden has warned householders to pay attention to their chimneys.

He said that as winter starts, the fire brigade gets a number of callouts to fire caused by dirty chimneys.

"People don't get them cleaned out properly,” he said.

"You need a professional to clean them out.”

Birds nests, when the heat of the fire causes the dry grass to burn are a common source of fires but often it comes down to general cleanliness as dry residue from fires builds up in the chimney.

"It's like maintaining your car,” he said.

"You've got to change the oil.”

He said chimney fires can cause an entire house to burn down as the fire can easily spread throughout the ceilings as the heat causes beams in the ceiling to ignite.

In addition to chimneys, householders need to pay particular attention to kitchens, the source of more than half of home fires.

Food should never be left cooking unattended and all loose items, such as curtain,s tea towels and over mitts should be kept away from the heat. Cooking pots should have their handles turned inward so they cannot be knocked over and a fire extinguisher and flameproof blanket and a vital part of the kitchen equipment and should be located between the stove and the nearest exit.

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