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Industry Expert Urges Hospitality Sector to Take Action to Ensure Open Fireplaces are Safe

Mike Byrne, director, Flue Liner Solutions

Everyone loves a pub with an open fire. And with autumn round the corner, it will not be long before the lure of a roaring fire will by a big draw for customers.

It is vital, however, that all hospitality venues from pubs and hotels to restaurants and guest houses, take action now to ensure the safety of their open fireplaces.

Mike Byrne, director of Flue Liner Solutions, has more than 25 years’ experience working within the hospitality industry to keep their premises safe for staff and visitors.

Mike said: “All hospitality premises that have an open fire or wood burner need to understand the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning. The NHS estimates that around 25 people die in England and Wales every year as a result of breathing in the toxic fumes.

“If you breathe in carbon monoxide fumes, it reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, which over time can cause your organs and cells to die – this is carbon monoxide poisoning.

“And because it is an odourless, colourless and tasteless gas, it has become known as ‘the silent killer’.

“Yet a very small percentage of landlords are aware of this.”

Mike is calling on all pub landlords, restaurant owners and any premises with open fires to get their flues thoroughly checked by a specialist before using them again this year.

Mike said: “The situation in a pub with an open kitchen and/or air conditioning units – and an open fireplace – could be even more dangerous. This is because the kitchen extractor fans can draw fumes from the fireplace into the premises, rather than allowing them to be naturally drawn up the flue which is what should happen.”

Mike advises all hospitality venue owners to ensure they have carried out their annual building survey to identify any issues relating to your chimneys, flue liners, ductwork and drainpipes.

He added: “It is vital to identify any potential safety issues such as the potential for harmful gases to escape into your property or the build-up of potentially dangerous waste. Due to the nature of corrosive chemicals in flue gases, holes can open up quickly once the integrity of the liner system has become compromised.”

Flue Liner Solutions has a growing list of blue-chip commercial customers in hospitality, manufacturing and education.

Mike added: “We use chimney CCTV surveys to ascertain any existing structural damage, blockages or issues so that we are fully informed as to the work that has to be done to bring these systems up to standard. Why not call us today for a free no-obligation chat?”