Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Thatched Properties

When a fire takes hold of a thatched property the damage is devastating. Follow our simple top tips for keeping your thatched property safe and download our handy information booklet for lots more useful fire safety advice.

  • It is important to insulate the chimney flue to prevent the heat from transferring into the thatch layer. This is especially important when a solid fuel or wood burner is installed as they burn at higher temperatures than conventional open fires.
  • Have the chimney swept regularly by a qualified chimney sweep. A chimney in regular use should be swept twice a year.
  • Only burn seasoned wood.
  • Have the chimney inspected by a qualified chimney engineer.
  • If you have a spark arrestor fitted clean it regularly. This should be done every three months on chimneys in regular use and the arrestor should be taken down to clean.
  • Fit a bird guard to deter birds from building nests in chimneys.
  • Develop a fire plan for your home.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed throughout your home. If you have a loft space then an interlinked smoke alarm should be installed which is linked to at least one other within your home.
  • Be careful when using blowtorches or heat guns (if plumbing or painting etc).

We also encourage you to fill in our Thatched Property Owners Pack and keep it in a safe place at homeThe details in this pack will give firefighters all the information they need to know about your property and in the event of a fire at your home, will enable them to tackle the fire more swiftly.

Support Documents

Contact Information

If you need any more information about keeping your thatched property fire safe please contact:

Sub Officer Ben Woodfield, Community Safety
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters
Kelvedon Park

Tel: 0300 3035555

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