WINCHESTER residents are being urged to Spring clean their chimneys.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said that despite improved weather, it has seen no let up in chimney fires, having attended six in one week last month.

A spokesman for the service said thatch properties are particularly at risk, and that extreme temperatures in the chimney can result in thatch igniting.

Community Safety Officer Paul Francis said: "Now that the weather is warmer a chimney fire may seem unlikely but these fires can have devastating effects.

"Chimney fires in all types of properties can usually be prevented. Our advice is to get your chimney inspected and checked regularly by a registered chimney sweep and this will help prevent a fire.”

For further information regarding chimney safety or to request a copy of a Thatch Information Pack, please visit