Historic England asked us to promote this eagerly anticipated event, which we did via Social Media and our website.
We attended the thatch research workshop on Monday 17th October 2016, in the afternoon, in the lecture theatre in the magnificent Royal College of Surgeons Building, London. There was a good attendance of 120, from insurers, architects, heritage organisations, fire safety and thatch specialists, thatched homeowners and more.
The speakers in order were:-
- Alison Henry (Senior Architectural Conservator, Historic England) – Thatch Fires, the Heritage Cost.
- Craig Lawrence (Senior Technical Consultant – NFU Mutual) – Thatch Fires the Insurers Viewpoint
- Keith Benjamin, Burgoynes Forensic Investigators – The Investigation of 148 thatch Fires
- Dr James LD Glockling (BEng, PhD, MIFireE, RISCAuthority Director and FPA Technical Director) – Results of NFU/Historic England research into fires from wood-burning stoves in thatched buildings.
The presentations were all very relevant and covered the topics clearly, generating some lively discussion which increased our knowledge and depth of understanding, further confirming our already held view that the major cause of thatch fires is ejected sparks from chimneys and not heat transfer. As part of that discussion, we raised the need for communication and working together from all parties, including the need to update information and advice currently circulated by various organisations. These results have been an important step forward in the fight against thatch fires.
With this in mind, we eagerly await the report and guidance being finalised from its current draft form and circulated amongst attendees so that we can share it so that everyone can benefit from this additional information.
We further understand that a webinar will be set up for those who could not attend, and we will keep you informed via Social Media, Blog, Website and our Newsletters of all information we receive.