Burgess Hill chimney fire

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As the cold weather hits the county, chimney fires are being reported across West Sussex.

The latest was in Burgess Hill on Wednesday (November 20).

Firefighters were called to a home in Fairfield Road at just after 5.30pm.

The fire was put out using various equipment, including a bucket of water.

The emergency service has issued the following advice on chimneys.

If you have had a chimney fire it is essential that you have your flue inspected by a competent person to ensure it has not been damaged. The chimney must also be properly cleaned before using the fire again.

To prevent chimney fires in the future and possible structural damage to your property, please ensure your chimney is cleaned at least as often as listed below.

Solid fuel appliances: Once per year for smokeless fuel and twice per year for coal

Wood burning appliances: Quarterly when in use

Gas appliances: Once per year if designed for sweeping

Oil fired appliances: Once per year

It is not sufficient to clean a chimney using a vacuum cleaner alone. Ensure your chimney flue is inspected at regular intervals to prevent fire breaking out of the chimney. Fireguards can prevent serious injury or even death, and sparkguards can prevent a serious property fire.