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Don’t forget to sweep your chimney before starting fires again.

Posted by FindHomeAbroad on 25/10/2016

With the cold beginning to settle in the French Alps, we have to relight the fireplace … But have you thought about the sweep? This is mandatory (according to French Law) and it protects you against the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning or chimney/flue setting the fire.

les fermes de l'alpe alpe d'huez top floor interior with high ceiling

Sweeping a chimney is mandatory
With lower temperatures, many of you will want to light the first log fires of the year but have you thought about sweeping? In order to avoid all incidents linked to accumulated residues of that past year use, it is necessary and even mandatory to do the big clean before use. Whether you own the property or just rent it, your chimney should be swept at least twice a year, whether it is oil, wood or coal-based. In addition to avoiding the risk to your own health, a properly-maintained chimney limits pollution. In large cities, the thing is taken very seriously as in Paris for example, where fireplace use had been prohibited and again allowed after two prefectural orders.

Beware of fines!
If you violate the rules and you do not sweep your chimney, you could see yourself fined of up to € 450.

To clean your chimney, contact a qualified professional
Sweeping a chimney is the building’s responsibility for the common flues (shared by all the owners/occupants of the building, defined as common areas) and the occupant’s responsibility for the individual conducts (leading to the apartment). In case of renting, it is the tenant’s duty to do the sweeping. But in all cases, sweeping must be done by a qualified professional. Allow between 40 and 80 € for a standard sweeping job, and even more in the bigger cities where prices can double. After the work, the chimney sweep will issue a certificate of the sweep, a very important document which you will then send to your insurer in case of fire.

Safety first!
In case of fire and in case there are victims, your liability, as well as your criminal liability, may be incurred. For the safety of all, remember to sweep your chimney!

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