Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire Fire Service warning over cheaper heating

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is warning people not to put themselves at risk by not maintaining heating systems to cut energy bills.

The service said it had responded to 108 heating-related fires in the past six months with chimney fires being one of the main causes.

It said it had attended 26 more chimney fires this year despite milder weather.

It advised householders to maintain chimneys and wood burners and to take care with candles and portable heaters.

'Threaten life'

Richard Lake, from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue, said: "Over the last six months we have attended far too many chimney fires, even though we go to great lengths to tell people about the dangers.

"Each of these incidents has the potential to threaten life and property and also ties up valuable fire service resources."

Councillor Will Windsor-Clive, from Gloucestershire County Council, said: "Every family has had to look at their household budgets and, understandably, are trying to find ways of cutting their heating bills.

"However, this must not be done at the expense of their safety and it is imperative that they get chimneys and woodburners regularly swept and boilers and heaters maintained by qualified heating engineers."

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