September sees the start of Home Fire Safety month and the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service are encouraging households to do some basic safety checks within their homes to reduce the risk of fires.

At the start of the month the focus is on Chimney Safety. If you have an open fire or woodburning stove in your home, it’s likely that it hasn’t been used over the summer period.

It is important to properly maintain flues and chimneys as any build-up of soot or debris increase the risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning and chimney fires.

You can read more about Chimney Safety on the website where there is further information on registered and insured Chimney Sweeps.

Through the week commencing September 14, Gas Safety Week will be addressing a whole range of gas safety matters with a focus on community safety in these difficult times - from advice about how to stay gas safe, to raising awareness of using a registered engineer who is legally qualified, to ensure consumers don’t suffer from the effects of illegal gas work though lack of awareness.

The Fire Service also want to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which could cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Gas Safe Register is the official register for legally qualified engineers. You can find a registered engineer in your area by visiting the Gas Safe Register website at

Most homes have at least one smoke alarm, however, homes have a greater number and wider range of gadgets and appliances, which we have become ever more reliant on.

Therefore, just having one or even two smoke alarms and more gadgets may not be enough for some homes.

Smoke alarms are still considered to be one of the most important devices in the home and we advise to have one fitted on each floor of your home and to test them every week.

The Fire Service also encourage you to:

• Replace their Smoke Alarms every 10 years – even if they appear to work when tested.

• Fit additional Alarms in the rooms that are used most.

• Clean your smoke alarms regularly.

• Purchase sealed unit alarms so the batteries cannot be tampered with.

Home Safety Manager Will Bowen said: “We want people to think beyond installing a smoke alarm on the landing and in the hallway and think about the risks in their own home to ensure they have the right detection in the right places.

“Home detection technology has advanced and products with sealed batteries or interlinked systems are available and as part of your home safety plan may give you precious minutes to escape if a fire starts.”

For the latest up to date advice and information about smoke alarms and home safety please see the website for more details

The Welsh Government’s aim is for all Welsh homes to have working smoke alarms and provides funds for the Welsh Fire and Rescue Services to provide smoke alarms and other home safety equipment.

In the event of a fire, don’t tackle the fire yourself. Get out, stay out and call 999.