Just because you live in a thatch-roofed house does not mean that you go without the joys of having wood burning stove or an open fire in the house. All you need is to utilize your common sense, and you will add warmth to your house.
According to statistics from thatch cottage insurers thatchedinsure.co.uk, thatched roofs have a high risk of catching fire than most conservative roofs. If the roof does catch fire, the fire spreads rapidly leaving little to salvage, which is why most homeowners with thatched roofs are advised to take the necessary preventive measures.
- Chimney are linked to around 90% of all thatched house fires. Therefore, make sure that you regularly clean and maintain your chimney to get rid of soot deposits.
- The chimney stack should be placed not less than five feet from the thatch, which gives ample room for any fire sparks the escape to die out before settling on the roof.
- The chimney should have annually check-up to assess the condition of the stone or brick work to ensure it is in a solid state.
- Fit an insulated lining in between the section where stack passed through the thatch.
- The insulation lining should also be done for the chimney, as an added precaution.
- Always get an expert to install the wood burning stove and ensure that the person install the stove has enough experience of dealing with thatched houses.
- Fit a flue thermometer in your chimney to help you monitor the flue temperatures.
- Avoid burning wet, unseasoned wood because they have more flue deposits.
- Have an electrician do regular electrical wire inspections each year, paying more attention to wires in the roof space. Most electricians can do this at no charge.
- Conduct inspections to check for mice or signs of other unwelcomed vermin that can damage the electric wires or the thatch.
- Install fire and smoke detectors in the right places and have fire extinguisher place strategically in the house for easy reach during fire emergencies.
- Instruct and ensure that any contractor working on the roof space does not use blowtorches or equipment that can spark a fire.
Fire Risks outside the Property
- While most of the thatch fired start within the house, overlooking that potential risks of outside fires can lead to unwanted and avoidable fires.
- A bonfire, light garden fire, or incinerator should be set up and lit away from the house, a distance of not less than 100 meters.
- Always check the strength direction of the wind before lighting any outside fires.
- Keep in mind that the direction of the wind is never constant, it changes dramatically. Therefore, ensuring it is blowing away from the house before lighting the fire.
- Avoid throwing a lot of rubbish in an incinerator all at once and take care when dealing with highly flammable materials.
- Make sure that you inform our immediate neighbors of the risk that a garden fires posed to your house.
- Ensure that you have a water tap fixed outside the house and a long hose pipe that can throw jets of water to reach the rooftop. It may not always suffice to quell massive fires, but it can help avert a fire disaster.
- Avoid lighting fires on those hot sunny days when everything around the compound including the thatched roof is crisp dry.
- Dampen the roof using the hose pipe before lighting any fire during those hot, dry conditions.