Householders with chimneys must have them swept to avert a blaze, warned community fire safety officers from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Last year fires from chimneys were on the increase in Shropshire as people used unseasoned wood causing sap to stick to the chimney sides and set on fire.
“I would appeal to those of you who use open fires or wood burners to ensure your chimney is swept at least twice a year. Birds may have used your chimney to nest in over the summer months and the remains can and do catch fire,” said Rabinder Dhami, team leader at Shropshire Fire and Rescue’s Community Fire Safety department.
In 2010/11 there were a total of 189 chimney fires in the county and statistics show this could increase this year unless home owners take action.
“Having a chimney fire can cause serious damage to your property and could possible result in injury or even death.
"Fire officers encourage every home to install potentially lifesaving smoke alarms, which will alert residents should fire start in the home before it takes hold."