Safety info and  FAQs

 As well as making sure that, all gas appliances are serviced annually it is also the landlords responsibility to make sure that the flue ways are cleaned annually by a qualified chimney sweep.

To help stop people dying each year from carbon monoxide poisoning the health and safety executive has documentation stating that all gas flues need to be swept annually by qualified chimney sweeps and that this responsibility cannot be passed on to the tenant.

According to the HSE statistics around 20 people die from CO poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues that have not been properly installed, maintained or that are poorly ventilated. Levels that do not kill can cause serious harm to health if breathed in over a long period.

Chimneys need to allow free passage of dangerous combustion gasses. Regular cleaning will remove soot and creosote, helping prevent dangerous chimney fires. Cleaning will increase the efficiency of some appliances. Bird nests, cobwebs and other blockages will be removed. 

Guild Sweeps undertake an extensive training and assessment process. Training is based around the most comprehensive training manual in the UK. Guild membership requires members to be insured for Chimney Sweeping and equipped to deal with all standard job situations. Because the Guild is owned, equally by all its members it can act like a co-operative, sharing information and solving customer problems. In the unlikely event your Guild Sweep is unable help you, they should be able to recommend someone who can. 


Why should I get my chimney swept?

Across the country last year many homes were destroyed by chimney fires, it is vital that your chimney should be swept in accordance with the table below to help prevent chimney fires from occurring. It is also required by house insurance companies that you can prove that your chimney has been swept by a competent person.  It must be stressed that the chances of a chimney fire are minimal providing you don't neglect your flue and burn only the recommended fuels for your appliance. 

What would happen if my chimney caught fire?

There are two types of chimney fires,

Fires that burn explosively are noisy they are generally noticed by neighbors or passers by. Dense smoke and flames may appear from the top of the chimney and homeowners often report a low rumbling sound that resembles a low flying airplane.

Fires that burn quietly are slow burning, as they do not get enough air or fuel to be as dramatic as the more explosive type. The temperatures in which they can reach are very high which can cause damage to the chimney structure and nearby combustible parts of the house.

The sweeping frequencies below are for guidance. Frequency will depend on a number of factors including: Type of fuel, appliance used, duration of use, moisture content of wood fuel, type of chimney. Your Guild sweep will be able to advise on sweeping frequency during the visit.


Type of Appliance &

Chimney Sweeping Frequency 


Once per year if designed for chimney sweeping

Oil Fired

Once per year

Solid Fuel

Twice per year for coal minimum depending on use

Wood Burning

Quarterly when in use. 

Efficient wood burning.

It is important the logs are dry and well seasoned. Burning wet or unseasoned wood is less efficient, and can cause harmful build up of deposits in the chimney over a very short time. Thick coatings of creosote or resinous material can cause chimney fires, or prevent the chimney functioning properly. This can allow harmful fumes to escape into the dwelling.

Efficient burning is achieved by setting the appliance to burn fast after stoking. This will ensure that all the gases are fully burned. Only set to slow burn when all wood has been reduced to charcoal and ash. Newly added wood set to burn slowly creates smoke and creosote in the chimney. The stove should not be banked up with logs for overnight burning. A bright fire which has turned the wood into charcoal should be left with the day’s ash, no secondary air and minimal primary air.

If you burn wood, you should have your chimney swept at least twice a year. Do not burn any painted or treated wood. Treated or painted wood will emit chemicals which are potentially damaging to health and the environment. This also applies to MDF and chipboard


                                                                     GET SAFE!  GET SWEPT!

                            CLEARSOOT CHIMNEY SWEEP!


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