Burning solid fuel does not pose any danger so long as the appliance is installed correctly, is maintained and used according to manufacturers instructions and the chimney is kept clear of blockages and does not leak.

It is important to keep all flues and airways well swept. Solid fuel appliances including open fires should be swept twice a year - more frequently if the appliance is used excessively or after a prolonged period when it has not been used.

When using an appliance with a throat plate the user should clean the plate on a monthly basis to prevent a build up of soot.

For further advice please contact the CAS hotline on 08457 125300.

Awareness of Carbon Monoxide
All fossil fuels when burned give off a mixture of exhaust gases, chiefly carbon dioxide, however when combustion is incomplete the gas carbon monoxide (CO) is produced.

It is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas, which if inhaled in sufficient quantities can have grave consequences. Details of awareness are well documented on government web sites such as 
What to Do
If you suspect carbon monoxide is present then
  • open windows and doors.
  • allow fire to burn itself out
  • do not stay in room longer than necessary
  • do not re-light the appliance until it has been checked by a competent engineer.
  • Get your chimney swept by a chimney sweep who can advise on the condition of the chimney at the same time.

The Northern Ireland Association of Chimney Sweeps is a useful contact for information on their members. Web site:

Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It is a wise precaution to fit an audible carbon monoxide detector/alarm (British and European standard BS EN 50291) However no safety device is infallible and should never be taken as a substitute for initial correct appliance installation or for regular and effective chimney sweeping and proper appliance operation and regular maintenance.