People across Southport are being urged to ensure their chimneys are swept before the autumn.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service advising residents to ensure chimneys are installed by appropriate registered tradespeople and that they are serviced regularly to prevent carbon monoxide emissions.

Regular inspection and cleaning of chimney flues can also prevent fires breaking out and most chimney fires are preventable.

Residents are also advised to have an audible carbon monoxide alarm fitted in their homes and to test it regularly.

Fire appliances in Merseyside have equipment that can detect dangerous levels of Carbon Monoxide in buildings and properties where firefighters attend.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is supporting Chimney Safety Week this week, which runs until September 13.

Group Manager Gary Oakford said: “Carbon monoxide is known as the ‘silent killer’ because it is a colourless, odourless, poisonous gas that you can’t see, taste or smell but which can kill quickly without warning.

“People should take notice of symptoms, which are similar to other illnesses such as the flu and food poisoning. Symptoms can include nausea, tiredness, headaches, dizziness, vomiting, stomach pains, concentration problems, personality change and visual problems.

“If anyone believes they have carbon monoxide poisoning, they should get fresh air immediately, open windows and doors, turn off combustion devices and leave the home. They should seek medical advice immediately. Long-term exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to depression, confusion and memory loss.”

For further carbon monoxide safety advice visit