Thatch Fire Safety February

Why Fire Safety February?

Thatch Fire Safety February

Fire Safety February was planned as February seemed to be a good month for reminding everyone via our social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) on how to stay safe from the risk of fire in their thatched property.  We thought Fire Safety February was a catchy title too!

Based on real thatch fire statistical data from last year, February 2023 was when the most thatched roof fires were recorded (see below for more information on these statistics), so it made sense for us to call it Fire Safety February.  This is also proven to be a good time of year for advice on this topic.

Gathering Thatched Fire Information

Using real data helps in making informed decisions and comments on thatch fires, their causes and therefore fire safety advice.  Currently the Home Office do not produce any data on incidents involving listed buildings or thatched roofs.    Some Fire and Rescue Services do collect this data for their own use which is helpful.

Thatch Fires Statistics information has recently been centrally collated by Historic England.  Both listed and non-listed properties are included in this data.  Over the last few years, the Thatch Advice Centre has been helping with this by forwarding any relevant information on fires to them.  We will continue to do so.

With that in mind, please help us to help them to collect this information.  Let us know of any thatched roof fires, the date and address (or location) will do.  Contact us and we will forward communication on as appropriate.

Fire Statistics for 2023

Based on the actual thatched roof fire data collected (from fire service reports and other avenues) there were 40 thatched property fires in the twelve months of 2023.

More Detail

There was one terrace of 5 properties, one terrace of 4 and 2 semis.  If we count them as single buildings it would reduce the fire numbers to 32.

Counting the terraced and semis as single properties, would then mean that February 2023 had the most thatch roof fires.  We then looked the causes identified so far, in a bit more detail.

Understanding the causes helps in improving fire safety practice as we move forward.

  • 3 were classed as deliberate – no words…
  • 9 were chimney related
  • 2 cooking related
  • 1 embers and sparks related
  • 23 unknown (at this time).

Interestingly, there were none yet attributed to electrical faults, but past data would indicate that some may be attributed to this at a future date, e.g. after results of forensic investigations.

24 of the 40 fires were in listed properties.  We should bear in mind that it is maybe not the listing which is a risk factor but possibly the construction, design, environment or occupants and how they live in the property.  It could just be higher numbers because the majority of thatched cottages are listed properties so when they catch fire it is statistically more likely to be listed?  Interesting.

Our Social Media Fire Safety February Campaign

We decided on a social media “Fire Safety February Campaign”.  Our aim is to remind everyone of the useful and important information available as well as linking to the essential advice on our website.  Understanding fire risks and taking appropriate action to reduce them is our aim.

Our Campaign covers:

Motivational tips on topics such woodburners, chimney maintenance and alarms.

Our regular “Test it Tuesday” reminders on maintaining those Smoke and CO alarms – a no brainer really.  Join us by liking, loving, sharing and …. Testing those alarms!

Midweek posts centre around the chimney side of things and also our valued Associates who help us in dealing with our fire safety issues.

Finally, Fridays are for sharing pictures, fire safety articles and links to complete the Fire Safety February weeks. Messages and information to keep you thinking during the weekends.

Thatch Fire Safety is not just for February

Our social media campaign is to start reminding you how to improve individual Fire Safety in your thatched property.   We urge you to read our Thatch Fire Safety Leaflet.  Fire Safety measures should be adopted all year round.

Understand the fire risks so that you can best reduce them.  Don’t forget to meet your insurance requirements too.

Remember, thatch is not more likely to catch fire it is just harder to put out if it does…. And makes more publicity.  Don’t be a statistic.

#Workingtogether is our motto.  Please remember to like, love and share our Fire Safety February posts and help spread the important messages.

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