FIRE service bosses are urging locals to get their chimneys swept after a spate of blazes involving chimneys and wood burning stoves.

Worcestershire and Herefordshire firefighters have been to around 30 chimney and wood burning stove blazes since early February.

10 of these fires took place between March 1 and March 8.

Station Commander Amy Bailey, from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service’s community risk department, said: “To keep you and your family safe from fire make sure you have your chimney swept regularly, depending on what fuel you burn.

“A stove or open fire can be an ideal and pleasant way to keep warm, but without proper maintenance a chimney can become dangerous.”

Station Commander Bailey urged residents to make an appointment with a registered chimney sweep if their chimney is due a clean.

She added that locals should take certain steps to avoid a fireplace blaze.

These tips included using a fireguard to block sparks and hot embers, properly putting out fires before heading to bed and keeping chimneys and flues clean.

Station Commander Bailey also said people should not burn rubbish, nor use flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin to light a fire.