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Specflue - Be Winter Ready

Tuesday, 22 September 2020
Specflue - Be Winter Ready

Specflue - Be Winter Ready

As the temperature drops and you consider lighting your stove for the first time in months, remember a few safety tips;

- Check your CO alarm works by pushing the test button, (also give it a vacuum to remove any dust)

- Take a walk up your garden and look at your flue or chimney before you light your stove – does it all look in good condition? The chimney pot has not cracked during the summer, any rain and bird guards have not fell down during the recent winds? And these do not look blocked, use a pair of binoculars for a really good view.

- When was your stove or open fire last checked, serviced and the chimney swept? These should be completed at least annually or more frequently dependent upon the fuel you burn, and keep the certificates for your flue warranty and household insurance purposes

- Check you outside air vents are not blocked by plant pots, wheelie bins, leaves, etc. If possible give them a clean with a vacuum, brush or pipe-cleaner to remove cobwebs

- Check the air controls on your stove are free and easy to move before you start a fire

- Does the stove door shut firmly? The rope seals do need replacement every few years and may need replacement by your service engineer

- For the first fire of the season just light a few bits of kindling and watch to ensure the smoke is taken up the flue. Also go out into the garden to check smoke is evacuating the flue. You can purchase smoke matches and smoke pellets which will give you a more visible smoke to check. Only when you can see that everything is working should you consider lighting a full fire

- Remember that most stoves are ‘closed combustion appliances’ and should be used with the doors shut, only open the doors to re-fuel

- If you have moved into a different property since last winter, always have the stove/open fire and flue checked before you use

- Check your fuel store is providing sufficient cover to keep your fuel dry. A hand held moisture meter can test wood – never use wood with a moisture level above 20%

If anything does not work how you expect, or as it did last winter, shut down the appliance vents and call your industry approved service engineer.