Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps Exhibition & Thatch Fire Safety Seminar

Report on the Exhibition and our Seminar

At last. A big thank you to the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps for inviting us to their excellent Trade Exhibition last Friday and Saturday, with the opportunity to have a Thatch Fire Safety Seminar too.

The Exhibition

We arrived early on the Friday and set up our ‘stand’. Lots of chat and much appreciated assistance along with copious mugs of coffee and pastries, set us up for a busy day.   The other stands were setting/set up and the room looked great and there was a lovely vibe to the event.

Visitors came thick and fast on both days, with plenty of discussion on flues, sweeping methods, listed buildings, cowls, fire retardant spray (Magma Firestop®),  ideas for the future, shared problems and resolutions and general anything you can think of to do with thatch and chimneys!  The exhibitiors ranged from flue specialists to training, cowls and CCTV.  Woodburners, fire accessories, insurance, scaffolding and more – see the GOMCS Exhibition brochure for more details.

The Thatch Fire Safety Seminar

The half hour (ish) Seminar was enjoyable and created great and relevant discussion. The attendance was higher than anticipated from homeowners to …… chimney sweeps!! It was so empowering to realise that our message was well understood by the right people who can help spread the updated Thatch Fire Safety message.

Making everyone aware of the new information on the proven major causes of thatch fires – ejected embers and chimney fires – and ways to reduce the risks was our objective which we definitely achieved.  The proof from the Forensic Investigations and Fire Protection Association research was well received and certainly enhanced the message.  We all want to start the thatch fire statistics on the downward trend, and looking at chimney safety and correct woodburner running as part of this work is paramount.

Lively discussion created more ideas, and answered a few great questions. Everyone was invited to stay in touch and share the updates as well as and any ideas that may arise which could further reduce the risk of thatch fires.

Working together and sharing specialist knowledge is a way to make a difference which, given our growing community and voice, may enable improvements in standards and guidance, which were agreed to be variable and causing some confusion at present.

The Thank Yous

Well done to the organisers for all their hard work, Valiant for sponsoring this event and of course we cannot forget to thank the venue, The Oxford Belfry Hotel, Thame, Oxon. It was perfect for the conference, very organised and food was delicious, full of variety and well received by all.

Updated Thatch Fire Safety Leaflet

If you missed the Thatch Fire Safety Seminar do not worry.

The Thatch Advice Centre Fire Safety leaflet is a good summary of the up to date information and, if you have further questions, please get in touch, email or phone.