Keep the home fires burn­ing, but safely

Country Life Every Week - - Property News -

Tips for log fires from Nathan Brew of NFU Mu­tual

• Only use well-sea­soned wood and keep log stores away from the house, not un­der the porch and near those very hot halo­gen lights that wel­come guests

• Good-qual­ity lin­ers should be used for any chim­neys in use, par­tic­u­larly where a wood-burn­ing stove gen­er­ates high tem­per­a­tures. (It’s worth fit­ting a flue ther­mome­ter—they’re not ex­pen­sive.) Older prop­er­ties will have very ro­bust ma­sonry ma­te­ri­als on the lower lev­els, but up­per floors may have lighter and more com­bustible lathe-and-plas­ter walling/ceil­ings

• Con­sider chim­ney in­spec­tions us­ing mini cam­eras to look for dam­age and miss­ing bricks

• Any iron back plates be­hind open fires should be fixed to the wall to pre­vent them top­pling. A full open fire will be thrown out into the lounge if a back plate falls over onto it

• In ad­di­tion, own­ers should check that their fire guards have a suf­fi­ciently fine mesh to stop sparks get­ting through and keep loose rugs with fringes well aware from the fire. Boiler rooms should not be used for dry­ing wet but com­bustible coats

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