It has been a strange few days in this part of North Yorkshire. Winter arrived, long neglected fires were lit and my phone started to ring. I can't prove cause and effect, but my brushes have certainly been in great demand as the soot truck and I slipped and slid around North Yorkshire's mostly ungritted roads (After a near miss at Egton I got winter tyres fitted mid-week).
Quite a few of my customers this week have been tenants and I was very surprised both by how many of them are expected to sweep their own chimneys and how few have been issued with Carbon Monoxide alarms - despite this being a legal requirement (and subject to a civil fine of £5,000) from 1st October last year.
Some of these chimneys, like the one below, contained excessive amounts of soot, tar and nesting materials, which made them prime candidates for a chimney fire or the poor combustion which leads to the generation of carbon monoxide.
If you rent out a property with solid fuel fires or appliances, I recommend you take a moment to ensure that the chimneys are getting regularly swept and that you have compliant carbon monoxide and smoke alarms. That way you can protect your tenant, your asset and your reputation.