THATCHED PROPERTY EXPERTS
It’s reported that every year between 70 and 100 thatched properties experience a serious fire. Over the last few years, thatch fires have become an increasing problem, with a large percentage of incidents being associated with modern multi-fuel or wood burning closed stoves.
Thatched roof open fire solutions
We have a lot of experience with thatched properties and would be delighted to assist you by designing a safe open fire solution that looks amazing, is safe and keeps you warm.
Why are thatched properties different?
Traditionally, chimneys in older thatched properties were commonly used in conjunction with open fires, rather than closed stoves or woodburners. 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. This dilution causes a much cooler flue gas temperature.
In recent years, due to the increasing focus on energy efficiency, closed wood burning and multi-fuel stoves have become much more popular. Woodburing stoves do not draw anything like the amount of air of an open fire to mix with the fumes (and heat) from the fire. In fact they are designed to ‘cook’ the wood with the minimum of air. This increase in heat generated by closed stoves increases the risk of a thatch fire drastically.
The concentration of heat up a narrow stove chimney can also increase 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.
Research also shows that on top of the obvious transmission of hot flue gases through a leaking chimney stack, there is also evidence that thick layers of thatch against a chimney acts as an insulator, preventing heat from escaping through the brickwork. This can create a high concentration of heat especially if the stove is used for long periods on consecutive days.
At Camelot we can offer a number of options to create open fire solutions that are safe, compliant, work well and look fantastic. In conjunction with a suitably specified chimney solution the result means you can enjoy a classic fireplace and sleep at night knowing it is safe.
WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY
Just wanted to let you know how pleased we are with the fantastic fire you installed in our 400 year old thatched cottage recently. We can hardly believe how easy it is to light, without any sign of smoke in the room!
Paula L, Thatched Cottage, Bedfordshire
Pubs and restaurants at greater risk.
The risk of thatch fire in properties with a number of closed wood burning or solid fuel stoves is automatically higher- but particularly in buildings such as pubs and restaurants, where typically these heating appliances are alight for extended periods of time on a daily basis in the winter time. Although roof thatch may be damp and difficult to ignite, the heat of constantly roaring stoves is sufficient to ignite even what appears to be wet thatch.
The Thermovent solution.
The simple solution to massively reducing the risk of thatch fires is to install a Thermovent open fire. This is because they will run on a 200mm flue and are so easy to use whilst offering competitive performance when compared with a closed stove. As an open fire, Thermovent is a much lower risk as the flue and air intake from the room allows for a cooler flue gas temperature, reducing the risk of setting alight the thatch. Open fires are recommended by the National Society Of Master Thatchers in thatched properties.
Thermovent open fires offer a no smoke guarantee and with a built in convection system offer class leading heating potential for your room.
Here at Camelot we have received direct confirmation from leading specialist thatch insurers including NFU and Weslyan that they would see a Thermovent open fire as low risk and not increase premiums, unlike stoves.
As many thatched properties are listed, it is important that any heating must serve its purpose without taking away character from the building, as is the case with a Thermovent convecting open fire. It significantly reduces any risk of fire compared to a closed stove, whilst matching the buildings character.
Twin Skin canopy with fire grate and fire back solution.
If you prefer a separate canopy and fire grate solution, and are not concerned with efficiency of in room heating, we can offer our Twin Skin canopy solution above a traditional fire grate with fire back.
Unlike the Thermovent, we cannot offer a no smoke guarantee with these arrangements as canopies don’t work in the same way as our Thermovent. It is the case however that we have never created a canopy and fire grate solution that did not work.
With the separate elements of this arrangement the overall cost is similar to a Thermovent.
WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY
Another customer said this about one of our fires:
“We’ve given the fire a good test run and it works really well. It certainly throws out some heat. The fire is amazing…we love it and it does everything we wanted it to do.
What about the chimney?
Whilst not a requirement of any of the open fires we create at Camelot, thatches represent a further unique situation in relation to the proximity of the thatch outside an original chimney.
It’s unlikely such an arrangement will meet current building regulations in relations to the distance of the thatch from the heat and smoke inside the chimney.
The only solution to achieve this is often to line the chimney with an insulated rigid liner to ensure the required protection is achieved. In this situation Thermovents ability to run on the absolute minimum permitted diameter flue (200 mm) means this can be achieved and still deliver good efficiency and heat output. As mentioned above the 1.8m above the thatch for the top of the pot is critical here also.