Wood Burning Thatch

February 12, 2019
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New guidance has been published on the safe use of wood burning and multifuel stoves in thatched buildings.

Following reports that the growing popularity and use of wood burning and multi-fuel stoves have been responsible for an increasing number of fires in thatched roof buildings Historic England and NFU Mutual Insurance Society Ltd funded the Fire Protection Association to carry out a programme of research.

Historic England state that wood burning and multi fuelled stoves are NOT recommended for use in thatched buildings as they have been demonstrated to present a greater risk to the thatch than other forms of heating INCLUDING traditional open fires. However recognising that there are various reasons why these stoves will be used the new guidance provides advice on minimising the risks.

The guidance covers various topics including:

  • The need to make sure chimneys are regularly swept;
  • Maintaining a safe distance between the top of the chimney and the thatch;
  • Preventing birds from nesting in the chimney;
  • Installing a flue liner; and
  • Safe ignition and refuelling.

The guidance can be viewed on natural England’s website at: https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/technical-advice/emergency-and-fire/fire-advice/reducing-fires-in-thatched-roof-properties/

Alternatively a leaflet can be downloaded at: https://historicengland.org.uk/content/docs/advice/fpa-fire-thatched-properties-leaflet-2018pdf/

Please speak to your normal PIB Risk management contact or email us using [email protected] if you have any questions about fire safety or would like to arrange a fire risk assessment.