Thatch fires and chimneys


Most thatch fires are chimney related and occur in older properties.  Recent analysis of fire statistics in thatch roofs has shown that while a few fires are caused by sparks exiting the chimney and landing on the surface of the thatch, it is believed that heat transference through the chimney into the thatch is an increasing occurrence.

This process occurs when the temperature inside the chimney reaches 200 degrees C or more.

Research has found that multi fuel stoves in particular generate very high temperatures and this factor together with single brick chimneys and a great thickness of thatch around the chimney can lead to undetected slow burning on the underside of the thatch which will be tinder dry.

The two photos show a roof we stripped in Northumberland – before, during and after.  The depth of thatch in a vertical line from the top of the ridge to the top of the thatch line was 1.53 metres!

For further information on this subject and recommendations on how to minimise the risk of chimney related fires please visit;

www.chimney-problems.co.uk/thatchedproperties.php and www.buildingconservation.com/articles/thatchfires/

There is also an early warning fire detection system which can be installed near a chimney. Please visit www.thatchingadvisoryservices.co.uk