Author Archives: Paul

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Ban on Wood Stoves – The Facts

Category:Wood Tags : 

There will be no doubt you will have seen some misleading headlines about a possible ban on wood stoves and the dangers of using them. However, the Environmental Improvement Plan clearly states that the government is not considering a ban on domestic burning in England and it recognises that some households are reliant on solid fuel burning for heating, hot water and cooking. Additionally, a ban on domestic outdoor burning would be considered disproportionate, however improvements are being considered in reducing impacts that solid fuel burning has on air quality. The Environmental Improvement Plan outlines further measures relating to clean air and emissions from the home. This includes proposals to tighten the limits that fuels in Smoke Control Areas must meet, reducing the limit from 5g of smoke per hour to a maximum of 3g.

Some key points to consider when addressing the current misconceptions:

  • Government is not considering a ban on domestic burning in England.
  • Use of modern wood burning stoves can help to improve air quality inside the home due to the natural draught created when the stove is in operation and used properly.
  • There are many other sources of particulate matter (PM) in the home, including cooking, that can release far higher levels of PM compared to modern wood burning stoves; Modern Ecodesign compliant stoves produce 90% less particulate emissions than an inefficient open fire.
  • HETAS Cleaner Choice certified products must demonstrate a 50% improvement on Clean Air particulate emissions, with some achieving as much as 70% improvement.
  • The actual PM contribution of modern wood-burning stoves is estimated by the UK government’s official figures at just 1-2%.
  • A modern stove will use less than a third of the amount of wood compared to an open fire to provide the same heat output.
  • 70% of wood burnt in London is done so on open fires – this is inefficient and an offence in smoke control areas.


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Chimney Fire Safety Week

Category:Safety Tags : 

Chimney Fire Safety Week is from Monday 4th September until Sunday 10th September.

This important week raises awareness of chimney fires and promotes safety messages including the importance of chimney sweeping and regular chimney maintenance, to decrease the number of avoidable chimney fires.

Being your modern-day chimney sweepers, we have come across a few common issues that can occur if you don’t take care of your chimney. Doing this regularly can really help prevent unwanted fires in your chimney.

We’ve seen a few things that could lead to fires in chimneys. So, here’s some stuff to remember:

  • Chimneys can get dirty and have sticky stuff called tar inside. Tar can catch fire easily as it’s extremely flammable. But don’t worry, with our regular checks, we’ll keep your chimney clean and safe.
  • Once your fire is burning, be sure that you never put any paper or rubbish onto the fire. This can create floating embers which can cause a chimney fire, or even float out and land on things in your home, like carpets and furniture which can start a house fire.
  • If you have a fireguard or spark guard, use it. This keeps the fire where it’s supposed to be and stops it from spreading to your furniture or carpets.
  • When going to bed or going out, even if it’s for a loaf of bread at the shop, PUT OUT YOUR FIRE. Make sure that it’s completely out, you don’t want to come or home or wake up to a house fire.

Did you know the national fire and rescue statistics show, chimney fires have been decreasing in most regions over the years. In England chimney fires have decreased by 2.75% compared to the last year.  This is great news, but we need to stay vigilant!

Remember, it’s a really good idea to get your chimney checked and fixed up before you start using it a lot. If you need help with your chimney, just give us a call at 07415449800. We’re here for you!

What to do if there’s a fire

  1. Get out of the building, closing any doors behind you.
  2. Stay out of the building.
  3. Call 999 and ask for the fire service.

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HETAS Carbon Monoxide Safety Videos

Category:Safety

The HETAS series of CO safety videos covering everything from signs and symptoms to where to position your alarm.

 


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New Regulations for Fuel

Category:Wood Tags : 

Did you know that new regulations on fuel have been passed in the House of Parliament and the House of Lords in recent weeks. The Air Quality Regulations become effective from the 1st May 2021 and will restrict the sale of solid fuels.

 

The basic upshot of the new law is the banning of wet wood and house coal in England. We’re feeling really positive about this change as it will promote real change with dry wood and smokeless mineral fuels being the only ones available to purchase.

So, how will you know that the fuel you are buying is legal? All certified fuel providers will sign up to the Ready to Burn Certification scheme with its clear logo. Seeing this logo will give you the assurance that you are buying legal fuel.

 

This law will make a massive difference to the environmentally responsible us of solid fuels and will be a significant step in the battle to reduce particulate emissions and towards better air quality.


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Why does santa come down the chimney

Why does Santa come down the Chimney?

Category:Uncategorised Tags : 

Ever been asked by one of your children “why does Santa Claus come down the chimney on Christmas Eve?” It’s a popular question among kids, but not many of us adults actually know the real reason…we thought this month instead of our usual health and safety tips we’d share the answer with you!

The concept of Santa Claus coming down the chimney dates back centuries and is popular in many countries. Back in pagan times, the Norse God Odin would enter homes during Winter Solstice by going through chimneys, and in Italy, a witch named ‘Befana’ would deliver gifts on Epiphany Eve. She was always depicted covered head to toe in soot from her various journeys down the chimney.

Despite these older traditions, much of the current mythology can be attributed to St. Nicholas,  a 4th century Turkish bishop, famous for his kindness and generosity, particularly towards children.

In the 1600s, a Dutch artist named Jan Steen, painted a picture called “The Feast of St. Nicholas”. It depicts St. Nicholas Day (6th December), which is still a traditional day for the giving of presents in some countries. In the painting St. Nicholas has delivered his gifts as onlookers stare up the chimney, with the clear suggestion that that’s how he has arrived.

But even more recently, the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” has influenced American folklore, setting the idea of Santa coming down the chimney on Christmas eve. These ideas were almost certainly brought to America with the European immigrants moving across in the 18th century.

So not just one story, but a variety that feeds into the question ‘Why does Santa come down the Chimney?’ If you want to keep your chimney in ship shape ready for the man in red this year, do get in touch!

Merry Christmas!


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Home Safety Week!

Category:Safety Tags : 

This week (28th September to 4th October) is Home Safety Week! The campaign by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) encourages people to assess their homes and ensure they have adequate fire alarms for their needs.

 

If you are in a vulnerable group then the Fire Service can assist you with specific advice and even fit smoke or CO2 detectors.

 

If you are unsure about your smoke detector, fire alarm or CO2 detector needs you can ask us at your next appointment, or check out these videos from HETAS.

 

 


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Chimney Fire Safety Week

Category:Safety Tags : 

From the 31st August – 6th September 2020 it is Chimney Fire Safety Week.

With around 4,300 avoidable chimney fires in the UK each year, HETAS, the solid fuel safety and standards organisation, is taking part in the annual campaign to raise awareness and promote safety messages to consumers.

This week stresses the importance of chimney sweeping and regular chimney maintenance, to decrease the number of completely avoidable chimney fires which are more prevalent between the months of January to March, with figures stating that over 40% of these types of fires occur over these three months.

It is essential that any maintenance or repairs are carried out before you start using your fire regularly for the season, so get in touch today on 07415 449800 to chat about your chimney needs.


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Essential Chimney Maintenance

Category:Chimneys Tags : 

Summer is definitely here and you’re not using your chimney as much… Now is the perfect time to carry out any essential maintenance and repairs that will become a much bigger issue come the Winter.

This could be repointing the chimney stack, brick repairs or replacements, or our particular speciality, CCTV inspections. With all our clients, safety is our first priority, and issues with your chimney or flue can be very dangerous. A CCTV chimney inspection gives us the ability to accurately diagnose an issue as well as inspecting the general condition of the chimney or flue.

It is essential that a fire or chimney has not been used for 24hrs before a CCTV inspection, which is why it is best to do so in the warmth of the Summer!

You can be assured that we are fully insured and registered with the Institute of Chimney Sweeps and HETAS, so call us on 07415 449800 to book your CCTV Chimney Inspection this Summer.


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New rules affecting fuel

Category:Wood Tags : 

New rules have been announced for next year that mean you will no longer be able to buy coal or wet wood for wood burners, stoves and open fires, in order to cut air pollution.

The government has said that wood burning stoves and coal fires are the largest source of fine particulate matter (small particles of air pollution which find their way into the body’s lungs and blood). Under the new rules, sales of bagged traditional house coal and wet wood in small units (less than 2m cube) will be phased out from February 2021. Also, makers of solid fuels will also need to show they have a very low sulphur content and only emit a small amount of smoke.

We always recommend using properly dried firewood, as not only does it have a reduced environmental impact, but the benefits also include an increased heat output, less smoke and soot deposits, and they are easier to light.

For advice on which fuel is best for you, give us a call on 07415 449800.


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Installing a Wood Burning Stove

Category:Chimneys Tags : 

Are you considering the installation of a wood burning stove ahead of the winter?

With 85% more efficiency at heating your home, you can make a huge saving on your heating bill, as well as adding a timeless aesthetic that could possibly increase your property value.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need a chimney to have a log burner, so whether you want to make a modern addition or add a classic look to a room, we can do so with minimal installation.

We at All About Chimneys are HETAS registered solid fuel fire installation specialists, so you can rest assured you’ll be in expert hands when it comes to installing your wood burning stove. We will also give you our professional advice on the styles available as well as the installation, so give us a call on 07415 449800 to talk about the possibilities.