Advice for a safe and cosy fire
There’s nothing nicer than a cosy fire glowing in the living room of your home as you sit down to watch TV or have a chat. To help you enjoy this luxury in safety and without drama, here at AA Home Insurance we’ve put together the following home safety tips when it comes to maintaining your home’s chimney.
Each year, we receive claims from a number of our home insurance customers following chimney fires in their homes. Whilst the damage done varies from claim to claim, often our home insurance customers tell us they were unaware of the importance of regular cleaning. In fact, many are surprised to learn that Irish Fire Services are called to an average of 110 home chimney fires every week in Ireland.
Chimney fires in the home - How they occur
When smoke rises up the flue of a chimney, particularly during cold weather, it condenses coating the walls in a highly combustible substance called Creosote. When sufficient quantities of this substance build up inside the shaft, homeowners run the risk of a volcano-like fire igniting inside the chimney breast of their house. Not only can this cause considerable structural damage to a house’s chimney, it can also do damage to the rest of the home. This effect is further exasperated if the air supply to the chimney is restricted.
The majority of local authorities, when called out to a chimney fire in an individual’s home, will charge the homeowner with a call out fee for the deployment of fire services. These charges differ between counties and range between a several hundred euro flat rate fee and an hourly rate per fire deployed. Fire brigade call out fees is an automatic policy benefit with AA Home Insurance. Homeowners making a claim should retain their receipt from their Local Authority for submission along with their home insurance claims form to their insurance broker.
How to maintain your home’s chimney
To avoid chimney fires homeowners should consider inviting an CSAI registered Chimney Sweep to their home to inspect and certify their chimney. It’s also recommended that homeowners consider fitting a cap over the top of their home’s chimney to ensure that debris can’t get in to obstruct air flow.
Protecting your house
It’s always important to make sure that you have adequate and house contents insurance in place in case the worst happens. All AA Home Insurance policies are comprehensive and cover:
- Fire brigade call out fees of up to €2,000.
- Personal Liability up to €1,275,000.
- Alternative Accommodation up to the value of 50% of the contents sum insured.
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