As the bitter chill of winter settles across the Clarence Valley, an increasing number of residents have been relying on electric blankets, heaters, and fireplaces to keep warm, prompting Grafton Fire and Rescue 306 Station Deputy Captain Chris Rumpf to encourage locals to ensure their chimneys and flues are clean, and safety instructions surrounding heating appliances are being adhered to.
After attending the scene of a flue fire in Villiers Street, Grafton, earlier this month, Deputy Captain Rumpf said its important chimneys and flues attached to combustion heaters are clean and working properly and safely at the start of the cold season.
“Thankfully, the flue fire we attended on June 3 was contained,” he said, adding crews from Grafton Fire and Rescue 306 Station and South Grafton Fire and Rescue 307 Station worked together quickly to douse the heat and put out the fire.
No further damage occurred to the property.
“Usually, we do see a few flue fires at this time of the year as winter starts.
“It’s a timely reminder for people who rely on fireplaces for warmth to make sure their chimneys and flues are properly cleaned to lower the risk of fires occurring.
“If anyone suspects they have a flue fire, take immediate action to reduce air flow.
“Shut down the fire and call Triple Zero (000).”
Deputy Captain Rumpf recommends burning dry hardwood rather than softwoods and green woods in fireboxes to reduce the build-up of deposits in chimneys, therefore reducing the risk of flue fires occurring.