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 home. The 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.
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
Tel: 0300 3035555