HEREFORD & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is urging everyone with a real fire or woodburning stove to make sure they have their chimneys swept regularly.

The service issues regular reminders as part of its Winter Safety Campaign, knowing the devastating impact a chimney fire can have on a home and its occupants.

Station Commander Alan Haley, from HWFRS’s Community Safety department, said: “While we haven’t had a particular problem with chimney fires so far this year, we do want people to be aware just how damaging they can be. A fire in a chimney can all too easily spread into the roof space and to other parts of a property, and can even destroy a home completely. “The good news, however, is that most chimney fires can be avoided simply by ensuring chimneys are swept regularly and that only the correct fuels are used.”

He urged people to make an appointment now with a registered chimney sweep if their chimney is due a clean. Further chimney safety advice and full details of chimney sweeps operating locally are listed on the Service’s website at under the Your Safety heading.

So far in 2013, firefighters from HWFRS have attended three chimney fires.

The first of these was at at 10pm on Thursday, January 3 when two fire crews from Redditch were called to a woodburner fire at a property in Bouts Lane in Holberrow Green, Redditch.

There were then chimney fires in the following days in Evesham and Ledbury.