Here at Camelot, our focus on traditional open fires means we often come into contact with potential customers who love our designs but are often concerned about the safety of their thatched roof when dealing with an open fire. If not installed properly with the correct safety measurements for your thatch, anything from fire baskets to stoves could result in a chimney fire. Here’s some basic explanation and advice on how to make sure your thatch is safe when planning for an open fire. We at Camelot cater for the safety of all types of open fire, including fire baskets, fire grates and thermovents in your home.
What are the dangers of an open fire and thatched roof?
When an open fire is lit, heat from the fire travels up the chimney drawing with it air from the room that the fire is located in. The heat of the fire is diluted by mixing with the cool air taken in from the surrounding room, giving it a much cooler flue gas temperature. Consequently, an open fire may actually be safer when installed in a thatch than wood-burning stoves.
Due to a general world-wide push for energy efficiency, in recent years closed wood burning and multi-fuel stoves have become much more popular. Woodburning stoves draw a significantly smaller amount of air than an open does, as they are designed to use the minimum amount of air possible to burn the wood by only using the air within the closed stove. This means the heat generated by closed stoves increases the risk of a thatch fire, because this heat is concentrated up the chimney.
This concentration of heat up a narrow stove chimney also increases the chances of a chimney fire further up the chimney. Hot embers ejected from a chimney system are a known cause of thatch fires. This is why the 1.8m above the thatch requirement in building regulations is so important, to ensure the risk of chimney fire is minimal. If you’d like more detail about thatch regulations, here is the HETAS guidance on thatch properties: HETAS Chimneys in Thatch Properties.pdf (thatchingadvisoryservices.co.uk)
At Camelot, we offer lots of solutions to thatched properties that are safe and look great in your home, whilst remaining an efficient and well-working fire. This means Camelot can give you the perfect traditional fireplace in your home, whilst you rest easy at night knowing your thatch is as safe as can be.