FOUR house fires across South Lincolnshire have sparked a county-wide plea for residents to sweep their chimneys.
Firefighters have been called to incidents caused by blocked chimneys in Bourne, Donington and Spalding.
So far this year, there have been 26 fires in Lincolnshire and firefighters say although this is fewer than the same period last year, it is still a cause for concern.
Debbie Robinson, deputy community fire safety manager, said: “Open fires and log burners are widely used in Lincolnshire, but without proper maintenance a chimney can be dangerous.
“Keeping your chimney swept, free of debris and well-maintained is key to preventing a potentially disastrous fire.”
Chimneys may need to be swept more than once a year depending on the type of fuel.
The total number of chimney fires each year in Lincolnshire has been decreasing, with county firefighters responding to 38 fewer incidents in 2011 than in 2010.
Firefighters have welcomed the reduction as great news, but say the 150 potentially preventable chimney fires last year are still too many.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue recommends contacting the National Association of Chimney Sweeps at www.nacs.org.uk to find a certified chimney sweep.