Open Fires and Thatch Roofing: Is it Safe?

Thatch fires are becoming an increasing problem in recent years. Every year, between 70 and 100 thatch fires occur. Thatch fires are notoriously difficult to extinguish and have expensive consequences. According to research conducted by the Thatch Advice Centre, ejection of embers and chimney fires are the leading causes of thatch fires, along with the misuse of multi fuel or wood burning enclosed stoves.

The Thatch Advice Centre can provide you with relevant advice, and useful up to date information. They are also able to point you in the right direction when it comes to seeking the advice of specialists.  

However, there are ways to reduce the risk of thatch fires. For your own peace of mind, you should first understand the risks and then minimise them accordingly.

In order to minimise the risk of damage to you and your property, make sure to:

  • Maintain chimney liner integrity
  • Avoid using wet or unseasoned wood in your open fire, as this increases tar and creosote build up in the chimney
  • Use wood burners and fuels correctly
  • Reduce heat transfer risk (although this has been proven to be a minor factor in the ignition of thatch fires)
  • Take care in dry weather conditions
  • Take out appropriate insurance
  • Install appropriate alarm and early warning systems, such as heat monitoring systems
  • Formulate and practise an escape plan
  • Apply Fire safety products for thatch
  • Avoid lighting external fires outside the property
  • Seek the advice of professionals
  • Ensure regular electrical inspections
  • Be safe, be vigilant

Camelot Real Fires specialise in the design of real wood open fireplaces. Among our specialities is the creation of traditional style fireplaces, such as inglenook and regency styles. Our unique thermovent convection fireplace delivers over 50% efficiency and 14KW of heat output. As open fireplaces are our passion, we are committed to the prevention of thatch fires as well as providing solutions to the hazards associated with open fires.