Lost my summer job

I now have more time in the summer if you would like your chimney swept. A couple of big chimneys have been cancelled.
Battersea Power Station’s towers must be demolished within two years http://dailym.ai/1mwMZsd via @MailOnline

Spring Clean Your Chimney

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging all property owners who use an open fire or wood burning stove to include their chimney on their spring cleaning list this year.

The weather may be warmer but the Service has seen no let up in chimney fires, having attended six in the last week.

Chimney fires can develop quickly. In thatch properties in particular, extreme temperatures in the chimney can result in thatch igniting causing rapid fire spread throughout the roof.

Community Safety Officer Paul Francis said: “Now that the weather is warmer a chimney fire may seem unlikely but these fires can have devastating effects.

“Chimney fires in all types of properties can usually be prevented. Our advice is to get your chimney inspected and checked regularly by a registered chimney sweep and this will help prevent a fire.”

The Service saw a number of devastating thatch property fires during the early spring months of last year – many of which could have been prevented had the property owners taken some simple preventative measures such as sweeping their chimney.

For further information regarding chimney safety or to request a copy of our Thatch Information Pack, please visit hantsfire.gov.uk/chimneyfire.

Gas Fitter jailed for 2 years.

Please forgive me for going on about carbon monoxide alarms but they are so important. You can get a decent one for £20 from local DIY stores.
A couple of days ago a gas fitter in Northern Ireland was jailed for being responsible for the death of two teenage lads.
His shoddy work led to poisonous gases leaking into a holiday cottage.
Get yourself a couple of CO alarms then if you or your children are going on holiday to a property where you do not know the history of any solid fuel or gas appliance, pack the alarm and take it with you. IT MY SAVE YOUR LIFE.
Always use a reputable chimney sweep from The National Association or The Guild of Master Sweeps and Gas Engineers who are members of the Gas Safe Register.
Clean Chimneys are Safer Chimneys.

Top tips for using a wood-burning stove this winter

Will Rolls, author of The Log Book: Getting The Best From Your Wood-Burning Stove, gives this good advice.
If you’ve recently joined the wood-burning stove brigade, there are two key tips that will ensure you get the most from your fire.

Don’t burn water
This is the most fundamental thing to get right when you’re burning wood. It might be surprising, but green wood is around 50 per cent water. That means that for every kg of green wood you add to the fire, you’re effectively adding around 500ml (a pint) of water. This means that you will need to make sure that your fuel has been dried properly. There are a few ways of doing this, but the simplest are:
• Find green wood and dry it yourself – probably the cheapest option, if you’ve got the space to dry your logs properly, but do bear in mind that it will take a while. As a minimum, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve given your logs at least one summer to dry properly (two is better).
• Find a good supplier. The best way of finding a good log supplier is to go through an accreditation scheme such as Woodsure. This is an audit of whether the logs really are as dry as the supplier claims, which gives you some peace of mind that you’re not being ripped off.
Buy kiln dried logs or briquettes. There can be sustainability issues with this sort of material, as energy has been added to dry the fuel before it reaches you, though some (but not all) suppliers use wood-fired kilns. This is usually the most expensive (but simplest) way of fuelling a stove.
Manage the air
As far as your stove is concerned, air comes in two flavours. Primary air feeds the bed of the fire, and secondary air feeds the flames above it. Nearly all the energy from wood comes from burning gases released when it is heated – which means that secondary air is much more important than primary. The golden rules are:
• Never completely close the secondary air vent. Never (I really mean it). It’s the easiest way to create soot and tar and completely coat the glass on the front of your stove with gunk (a technical term).
• Don’t leave the stove door open, unless you have been specifically instructed to by the manual when lighting the fire. You are crippling your stove’s efficiency and allowing all the lovely warm air in the room to shoot off straight up the chimney.
• Remember you’re always looking for a hot, fast burn, as this will be the cleanest, most efficient way of running the stove. A small hot fire is much more efficient than a large slow-burning one.

Carbon Monoxide Facts

Did you know that recent analysis revealed the hidden toll, each year, from this dangerous invisible gas:

4,000 people go to A&E
200 people are hospitalised
there are around 50 deaths in England and Wales.

Please maintain your appliances and have chimneys and flues swept regularly by a recognised sweep.
Safer Chimneys is a member of the National Association of Chimney Sweeps.

Chimney fires persist despite warm weather

Hampshire Firefighters are urging property owners to pay attention to the condition of their chimneys, especially those who often light open fires or woodburners.

Despite the recent warmer weather, there has been no lull in chimney fires, the service having attended six in the last week.

The service say chimney fires can develop quickly, and thatched properties are more susceptible.

The fire service saw a number of thatch fires last year, all of which the service say could have been prevented had the property owners taken preventative measures such as inspecting and sweeping their chimney.

Community safety officer, Paul Francis, said: ‘Chimney fires in all types of properties can be prevented.

‘Now that the weather is warmer a chimney fire may seem unlikely but they can have devastating effects.

‘Our advice is to get your chimney inspected and checked regularly by a registered chimney sweep and this will prevent a fire.’