Why should I have my Chimney swept?
John Fussell - Neat Sweeps
Chimneys that are not regularly swept can cause serious and very dangerous problems. There are a number of risks associated with chimneys, the two most important for consumers are:
The risk of fire
The burning of carbon-based fuels leaves deposits in the flue; soot and tar. The amount of deposit left depends upon the frequency of burning and the fuel used. Wet or unseasoned wood will leave greater tar deposits. Both soot and tar are flammable and if not effectively cleaned may ignite causing a chimney fire.
The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide is produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels and is colourless and odourless. When it enters the body, it prevents the blood from bringing oxygen to cells, tissues, and organs. The side effects even from low exposure include permanent organ and brain damage. Infants and the elderly are more susceptible than health adults, but none the less, too much in your blood stream will kill.
The symptoms of low-level carbon monoxide can easily be mistaken for those of the common cold or flu. Even if you only suspect that carbon monoxide poisoning has occurred, get urgent medical advice.
This is why Neat Sweeps highly recommend and can provide the KIDDE FYRNETICS 10LLDCO Carbon Monoxide Alarm, which has a sealed battery with a 10-year guarantee.
The following web sites provide more information about carbon monoxide poisoning: