Advanced Chimney Lining & Sweeping
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PHONE : 01264 861209

Servicing and Advice

Solid Fuel Appliance Operating and Maintenance Advice

In order to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your solid fuel appliance and flue system, it is important to take care in its operation and maintenance.

Full details on suitable fuels to be used, methods of cleaning and maintenance can be found via the Solid Fuel Association website (, the HETAS website ( or contact Toast (

Where a stove or woodburner is installed consult your supplied manual/user guide.

Below we have outlined some of the key care and maintenance factors.


  • You must ensure the correct fuel is being used for the appliance in place.
  • If you are burning coal then we would recommend using smokeless coal.
  • Wood and logs being burned should be well seasoned and preferably have low resin content.
  • You should not burn wood that has any kind of coating such as varnish or paint.
  • You should never use your appliance to burn rubbish/household waste.


  • Always follow the manufacturers instructions/accredited bodies guidance when using solid fuel appliances.
  • If you smell smoke or fumes entering a room, put the fire out, open the windows and leave the room immediately. Do not re-light the fire until the appliance or chimney has been checked by a qualified HETAS engineer.


  • Do not allow the ash to build up (unless burning wood only) within the appliance, remove it regularly.
  • When a stove with a throat/baffel plate is installed, this plate should be removed or lowered down once a week to remove any ash or debris that may have built up on top of it.
  • Avoid leaving the burning appliance unattended, if you do then you should always use a suitable fire guard/screen.
  • A fire screen should always be used when children are in the same room as a burning fire or woodburner.
  • Remember to have your chimney swept by a professional sweep (a member of NACS, the National Association of Chimney Sweeps)
  • Never light a fire for the first time without having the chimney swept first.
  • Use of an appliance without having the chimney swept can cause blockages within the flue and appliance spillage (CO / Carbon Monoxide) as well as chimney fires.
  • In the event of a chimney fire you should never reuse the chimney until it has been inspected and passed by a qualified HETAS engineer.
  • Never use any chemical cleaners or metal scourers for cleaning where a metal liner has been installed.
  • If you experience vermin or bird activity within your chimney (e.g. twigs falling down into fireplace) this can block the chimney causing a fire and smoke (CO) risk.  Have it cleared and swept by a qualified NACS sweep and get a bird cowl/guard fitted to the chimney terminal.

It is recommended that in normal use, chimneys should be swept as follows:

  • Chimneys with solid fuel appliances ……………………. Smokeless fuels – at least once a year / Domestic bituminous coal – at least twice a year
  • Chimneys with wood burning appliances ……………… Quarterly when in use
  • Chimneys with gas or oil appliances …………………….. Once a year
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Toast (Southern) Limited
Registered Address:
Fitzhead, Gravel Lane,
Barton Stacey
Winchester SO21 3RQ
Free Phone: 0800 6890006
Phone: 01264 861209
Registered in England No. 10650477
For further information or to arrange an on-site survey, call us today on 01264 861209.