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Thatch Fire Safety

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Fire In Thatch

Fire can spread very quickly through thatch. There are sensible precautions which should be taken to reduce the risk.

  • Any solid fuel burnt in boilers, stoves or fireplaces needs to be thoroughly dry.
  • Don’t burn any wet or unseasoned wood as this will lead to a greater build-up of soot in the flue.
  • Do not fit spark arrestors to the top of chimneys as these contain embers which can drop onto thatch below
  • Have electric wiring tested frequently, and keep the wiring itself well away from thatch. Fit surface rather than recessed fittings anywhere near the thatch. Do not install ventilation fans anywhere near the thatch.
  • Fit a mains wired smoke detector in the loft space linked to one below which can be seen.
  • Fit a standpipe for a hose in the garden and make sure this can go all the way round the house.
  • Keep barbeques, outdoor heaters and bonfires well away from the thatch.
  • The most common cause of thatch fires is heat transfer through chimneys. Chimneys should be well maintained, with all joints fully pointed, and swept at least twice a year. Chimneys should be lined especially if the heat source is a wood burning stove.
  • Ensure that the Fire Brigade know where your property is if the building is quite remote.
  • Where television aerials cannot be fitted to a freestanding pole, the aerial should be fixed to a gable or gable-end chimney, where the cable can then be run down the wall, avoiding contact with the thatch.
  • Make sure that the top of the chimney stack is 1.8 meters away from the thatch, this will allow the sparks to die away.