As the Christmas period is now over but winter continues, your fire has probably had a lot of use. When did you last have the flue swept? Has it been tested for smoke integrity to ensure that no cracks or faults have developed? Are dangerous gases able to escape?You need to protect against blockages, smoke leaks, inadequate ventilation, insufficient draw, down-draught and tar build-up.
As a chimney is essentially a household exhaust pipe — funnelling away soot, smoke, gases, hot ashes and sparks — sweeping should be an essential part of home maintenance.
A common misperception is that only chimneys servicing solid-fuel fires require sweeping, but even with a gas-flame effect fire, if a new appliance is being installed in a chimney previously used for solid fuel, it should be swept beforehand.Gas Safe Register (GFE) recommends that any gas appliance is safety checked at least once a year.
Having a regular sweep also is important to keep your house insurance up to date. If you don’t have a ‘in date’ certificate and were to have a chimney fire your insurance would not be valid.