PERHAPS it sounds dramatic to say book a chimney sweep to protect your children’s lives from the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
So, to make it clear how serious this is – the Guild asked Adele Forbes to give her opinion on why chimneys need regular sweeping. She knows only too well the tragic effects of CO poisoning. We thank her for giving this comment:-
“On the 25th of October 2005 myself and my mother found my five-year-old son McCauley Levi Thomas and my grandparents (my mother’s parents) Patrick Chidgey and Gloria Chidgey deceased at their home address in Pontllanfraith Blackwood, South Wales.
“My grandparents had one of those old coal boilers where you tipped the coal into the top and the fire lit at the bottom. Having this sort of boiler meant that they had a flue/chimney.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of having your chimney/flue swept and cleaned regularly. It is advised to be done once a year but the more you use it the more often it should be cleaned.
“Once every six months should be ample, but after suffering the awful tragedy my family has, especially if you have young children in your household, I would definitely be having it done between every 3-4 months.
“It’s also important to remember that through the winter months you will be using it nearly every day, so it would be wise to ensure it is done just before winter starts and as winter is coming to an end.
“So I can’t stress enough the importance of having/booking a chimney sweep and to follow on with regular checks and maintenance of your flue/chimney. Especially with log burners becoming the new ‘must have’ in your home. But that new ‘must have’ can cost you your lives and the lives of loved ones if not maintained properly and by a professional!”
Adele pleaded with parents to take the issue of chimney sweeping and carbon monoxide poisoning very seriously.
She added: “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is known as ‘The Silent Killer’ You can’t hear it, smell it, taste it. Please I ask you all to make sure you have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm [CO alarms should be to the standard EN 50291] and book a chimney sweep, you can’t put a price on a life!”