Preparing for the chimney sweep
So that the chimney sweep/fire safety inspector can perform their job in accordance with the regulations set out in Sweden’s Civil Protection Act, as a property owner you need to make some preparations. This way, you help the chimney sweep to perform their job as safely and effectively as possible. At the same time, this also makes the visit quicker and more convenient for you.
Naturally, chimney sweeping and fire safety inspections should be as thorough as possible. So, understandably, on occasion they can take time. However, a great deal of time can be saved if the chimney sweep can easily access the system that is to be cleaned. This also helps your neighbour, who avoids having to wait longer than necessary for their visit from the chimney sweep. This is also how the fees are calculated – if a certain number of houses in the same area can be swept on the same day, the costs can be kept as low as possible.
- Above all else: make sure the chimney sweep can enter your property at the agreed time. If you are unable to be home at the agreed time, arrange access in some other way. Perhaps a neighbour can let the chimney sweep in, or perhaps you can leave the keys with someone for them to collect.
- Put the ladder out for the chimney sweep. To ensure a good work environment and safety, any ladder, roof ladder and anti-slip protection must be in good condition (see also the information further down the page). In the winter, any snow on the path to the ladder must be cleared. Also remember to clear any snow from the roof ladder.
- Be sure to protect sensitive surfaces on the chimney sweep’s path to and from the hearth. The chimney sweep will be as careful as possible, but it can still be a good idea to put down some newspapers or masking paper in front of the hearth to prevent any unnecessary mess.
- Help the chimney sweep by clearing paths to all systems to be cleaned. Remove any items such as pre-heaters, pellet burners and other moveable items.
- If you have any fragile or valuable items close to the hearth, move them out of the way. The chimney sweep’s tools are long and cumbersome – and in the worst case can knock over, dirty or damage such items.
- For a fire safety inspection: ensure that the chimney sweep has space all around the chimney throughout the property – this is especially important in attic spaces and boiler rooms.
- The hearth needs to be extinguished before the visit. It is a good idea if you can avoid lighting the hearth on the day the chimney sweep is to visit.
- Put out a brush and pan together with a metal container with a tight-fitting lid for collecting the soot.
- If there is no power outlet by the hearth, provide an extension cord for the chimney sweep’s soot vacuum.
…do not forget roof safety!
In addition to chimney sweeping, a fire safety inspection is conducted. So that the chimney sweep and fire safety inspector can conduct their work safely and securely, it is important that you as a property owner consider roof safety.
Shortcomings in roof safety can result in the chimney sweep or fire safety inspector being unable to conduct their work on the roof. Accordingly, there is a risk that the chimney sweeping or inspection cannot be completed during the visit. To avoid a return visit, and additional costs, before the visit you can check a few important points concerning roof safety:
- If a normal ladder is to be used to access the roof, it must have anti-slip protection, so that the ladder cannot slip sideways or backwards. The anti-slip protection must be attached to a fixed building component and not guttering. This is because guttering often fails to meet the requirement of handling a 150 kg load.
- If the building façade is lower than 4 metres, a freestanding ladder can be used to access the roof. If this height is greater than 4 metres, access ought to be via a fixed façade ladder or from inside via a roof hatch.
- If the roof ladder is comprised of separate roof steps, they must be installed in accordance with the instructions provided by the manufacturer, as well as be in a straight line. This type of roof ladder is generally approved for houses with a maximum façade height of 4 metres and a maximum roof pitch of 45 degrees.
- Existing roof ladders must be attached to load-bearing building components – with at least 4 attachment points (top and bottom).
- If the roof is accessed from outside, the normal ladder and anti-slip protection must be followed by roof steps or a roof ladder for accessing the chimney.
- If the roof is accessed from inside, via a roof hatch, and the chimney is at least one metre away, there must be a gangway to the chimney.
- Separate roof steps, mounted horizontally, cannot replace a gangway.
If you would like more detailed information (in Swedish), with further measurements and instructions regarding roof safety, visit taksakerhet.se