Exeter station spent 600 hours a year tackling chimney fires
Firefighters spent more than 600 hours - almost 26 days - tackling chimney fires across the region during the 2011/12 period, new figures show today.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Crews from Danes Castle spent 614 hours and 29 minutes fighting chimney fires during the time.
Although very high, the figure has actually decreased since 2010/11 when Danes Castle crews spent 259 hours dealing with the fires.
Danes Castle was the station in the region that spent the most time dealing with chimney fires across Exeter and East Devon.
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Second was Exmouth station with 517 hours and third Crediton with 287 hours.
The figures were revealed following a Freedom of Information request from the Express and Echo.
The Fire service have issued a warning to those with open fires to be extra careful on recent cold nights.
Fire Investigation Officer, Mike Burroughs explains: “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.”
“Chimneys need to be dirt free to allow the free passage of dangerous combustion gasses, so regular cleaning will remove soot and creosote, and help prevent dangerous chimney fires. Make sure your chimney is swept regularly by a registered chimney sweep.”
Earlier this year it was revealed that Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service were called to 2029 chimney fires in the last four years.
The emergency service dealt with 557 fires in the 2011/12 period showing a slight decrease compared to the 2009/10 total of 757.