Is your chimney prepared for Santa?

Twas the night before Xmas and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse….

We love this Christmas poem by Clement Clarke Moore. (Read it in full). What a magical read for little ones on Christmas Eve. But what if Santa didn’t come down the chimney with a bound? What if poor old St Nick got stuck? Is your chimney prepared?

We’re sorry to be Scrooge. We know this is a magical time of year, but if you have a working chimney, have you ensured it is well maintained and safe? This doesn’t just mean for those who use traditional wood burning open fires or stoves. It applies to those with gas or oil appliances too.

If you have a working chimney you must ensure it is regularly maintained by professional chimney sweep. Different types of fuel require different maintenance regimes. According to the National Association of Chimney Sweeps if you use smokeless fuel you should clean your chimney at least annually; for wood and bituminous coal, quarterly; and for oil and gas once per year.

Regular sweeping ensures that any bird nests, cobwebs, dead animals and other debris can be cleared from your chimney, getting rid of blockages that can cause carbon monoxide poisoning or chimney fires, and of course allowing safe passage for St Nick!

And it isn’t just the chimney that can be a fire risk. Those romantic twinkling lights on the tree, the gently burning candles – all add together to increase risk factors during the festive period.

If you’ve gone all out and turned your home into the most fantastically decorated house on the street, make sure you haven’t overloaded the electrics, or ruined your roof when you went up to fit your festive delights. Santa’s sleigh and reindeer may look wonderful, but when the roof leaks because you’ve knocked a tile out of place, you’ll rue the day you decided to follow the footsteps of Clark Griswald in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

So, as we near Christmas, enjoy all the festive entertainment, food and drink, in the knowledge that your home is safe and sound. In the words of Clement Clarke Moore – HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!

Further information

Here is some more detailed advice from the Fire Service to ensure your home is safe this Christmas: