A few months ago, the French government planned to ban chimney fires in Paris and Île-de-France. The main reason ? A fierce battle against fine particle pollution, generated in part by the combustion of wood in French homes. However, a few weeks before the government decree was put in place, the Minister of Ecology decided to back off and reconsider this ban. takes stock of the situation.
Chimney fires re-authorized in Paris and the Paris region
While they were to be banned from January 1, 2015, chimney fires in private homes are finally authorized thanks to the repeal of the bill by Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology. The figures for pollution from chimney fires, submitted to the government by Airparif, would be inaccurate and the rate of fine particles emitted well below what was announced. It is therefore a relief for many families, who will be able to continue to benefit from wood heating in the years to come. The government also specifies on its dedicated public service site that it is now possible to light an open fireplace, for simple use of pleasure or as auxiliary heating. Closed fireplaces are authorized in Île-de-France subject to compliance with certain emission and performance standards. Domestic fires, household maintenance, etc. We interviewed Alain Langlais, fire claims expert at SARETEC, for a complete update on chimney fires in France.
Are chimney fires a popular heating method in France?
Alain Langlais: "Yes, to a certain extent since more than 7 million French people have chosen wood as their main heating method (source ADEME - July 2013). This figure is constantly increasing despite the price of steres which is constantly growing , and it perfectly demonstrates the attraction exerted by wood heating for individuals. However, it should be noted that the number of open fireplaces decreases each year in favor of inserts, wood stoves and pellet stoves, which is rather safety positive.
In this regard, chimney fires are a source of accidents every year ... To what extent?
They are indeed dangerous and lead in domestic accidents, just behind faulty electrical installations. Each year, 11% of accidents in the home are due to chimney fires! In addition, statistics have shown that during their lifetime, 1 in 3 French people will be the victim of a fire ... a figure that makes you dizzy.
What advice would you give to best secure your chimney?
First, I strongly recommend that you hire a professional for the installation and maintenance of the ducts rather than doing it yourself. Not only will you be protected from insurance in the event of an accident, but you will be sure to have a healthy and well-installed installation. Chimney sweeping is compulsory at least once a year: it avoids the deposit of bister - extremely flammable - on the walls of the flue. Finally, secure the chimney and its environment by avoiding drying clothes nearby, and by removing combustible objects such as textile rugs and newspaper when you start a fire.