Woodburners, Multifuel Stoves and Open fires – Fire prevention considerations for Thatch.

Many people are concerned about the risk that open fires and woodburners pose for thatched properties.

The risks, as with all properties, should be assessed and the best choice made based on solution, risk reduction and in many cases cost. The results of the Burgoynes Forensic report on the causes of thatch fires has highlighted the problem of woodburners/multifuel stoves.

Before lighting a fire in your home please check with your insurance company regarding your cover in relation to stoves and open fires.

Many many people living in thatched properties have successful installations of woodburners and open fires but please get professional advice on both the chimney, flue and stove and make sure you have insurance cover.

Select the smallest stove for the size of your room to achieve the best burning and safest solution. Always take professional advice on the stove and flue lining and get it installed by a reputable supplier. These heating appliances generate a lot of heat, even up the flue.

Open fires generate less heat up the chimney than woodburners but professional advice should still be sought on flues and chimney care.

Fuel and chimney care

Burning the appropriate recommended fuel for your open fire or stove.

Care should be taken when lighting woodburners. Do not burn wet or unseasoned wood as it will leave greater tar deposits which increase the potential for a chimney fire. Moisture content of less than 20% is recommended. Leaving a fire ‘in’ overnight is also not recommended for the same reason.

Do not use your woodburner as a rubbish bin for old wrapping paper at Christmas!

Make sure your chimneys are regularly swept, before Winter and during the season. Be aware that if you sweep the chimney at the end of winter, in the spring birds are nesting, so it is worth checking the chimney again before the next winter. Checking the pointing on the chimney – especially in the area where the thatch is – can be done by the thatcher when rethatching but also by chimney specialists from within using camera systems.

If you still have questions just ask, we have a lot of experts that we can call upon to help, or look on The Thatch Directory for some of our Thatch Advice Centre Associates.