The number of fires caused by fireplaces and their flues is low in the Helsinki City Rescue Department’s area. A key factor in this low number is that the fireplaces are maintained well. The reasons for fires caused by fireplaces or flues are sparks from the fireplace, insufficient distance from flammable materials and, in some cases, defects in fireplaces and flues, over-heating and too much soot in the flue.
The owner and occupants of a building and business and industrial operators are obliged to ensure that chimney sweeping is carried out regularly. Chimney sweeping ensures that fireplaces and flues are safe to use. In addition to this, chimney sweeping reduces fuel consumption and promotes complete combustion, which in turn reduces emissions and unnecessary environmental loading. In connection with sweeping, chimney sweeps also provide guidance in personal and fire safety matters, as necessary. They can be asked for advice in matters related to combustion, fireplaces, ventilation and fire safety.
Please make sure that the roof of the building is safe for a chimney sweep to move about on. The owner and occupants of a building and business and industrial operators are responsible for making sure that ladders, parts of roof walkways and roof safety equipment are maintained to allow for chimney sweeping to be carried out safely.
The owner and occupants of a building and business and industrial operators can order chimney sweeping services from their preferred provider of chimney sweeping services, who employs chimney sweeps with vocational qualifications in chimney sweeping. Information on local chimney sweeps can be found in local newspapers and online, for example on the website of the Central Association of Chimney Sweeps. If the client feels that they have not received adequate information about the arrangement of chimney sweeping from the company that carried out chimney sweeping services, that the information received was incorrect, that the work has been invoiced incorrectly or unclearly, or that there are disputes related to the way the work was carried out, the client should contact the company that conducted the work in order to resolve the issue. If no agreement can be reached, the client should contact the Consumer Advisory Services. The telephone number for Consumer Advisory Services is 029 553 6901 or 029 553 6902 (Swedish). For more information, please visit the Consumer Advisory Services website.
The owner and occupants of a building and business and industrial operators are obliged to present a written certificate to verify that chimney sweeping work has been conducted to the rescue authorities upon request. The certificate must state the chimneys that were swept, the person who carried out the chimney sweeping, the date on which the work was carried out, measures conducted, faults and deficiencies observed, and any additional work conducted.
The following should be swept every year:
- All fireplaces that are used need to be swept once a year (incl. fireplaces, baking ovens, sauna hearths and flues).
- Fireplaces using solid fuels, light oil, multiple fuels or heavy oils, and their flues.
- The fireplaces and flues of a holiday home and sauna intended for non-private, regular use.
The following should be swept every three years:
- The fireplaces and flues of a holiday home and sauna intended for private use.
For additional information, please contact:
- Fire Inspector Jukka Laiho, tel. 09 310 30226
- On-call fire inspector, tel. 09 310 31203