Fire chiefs are urging Oxfordshire residents with thatched roofs to get their chimneys swept and checked to reduce the risk of a blaze.

More than 90 per cent of thatched roof fires start because of a faulty chimney or one that has not been swept recently.

The fire service’s home and community safety manager Stuart Garner said: “I would like to encourage anyone who has a thatched property to get their chimney swept and inspected on a regular basis.

“Without proper maintenance a chimney can become dangerous and a potential source of a far more serious fire.”