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Fire in Thatch Properties with Wood Burning Stoves

The Fire Protection Association (FPA) recently released its long awaited report into the causes of thatch fires – Fire in Thatch Properties with Wood Burning Stoves.

The report, sponsored by Historic England and the NFU Mutual details the work and research carried out to understand the key factors that may contribute to thatch fires when using a wood burning stove.

The FPA also produced new guidance for owners of thatched building with wood burners and multi-fuelled stoves. The guidance list key actions that homeowners should take to reduce the risk of fire.

The author of the report, Dr James Glockling, the NFU Mutual and Historic England are happy for us to distribute the information.

The report and guidance are available here:

Fires in Thatched Properties with Wood Burning Stoves 2018

Guidance for owners of thatched building with wood burners and multi-fuelled stoves

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The Farmers Arms – Thatchsayf Fire Retardant

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TAS recently completed the application of Thatchsayf Fire Retardant to the Farmers Arms in Combe Florey, Somerset.

The pub was completely gutted by fire in January 2017 and it is believed that an ejected ember or spark was the cause. The roof is around 250m² and was thatched by Richard Pascoe and his team.

Prior to thatching, the roof timbers had TAS100 Thatch Fireboards fitted and 100mm Thatchbatts® installed between the rafters. The refurbishment was carried out by Les Joint Building Contractors.

The pub is due to re-open later this year.

 

 

 

 

 

For further information about Thatchsayf Fire Retardant, please see the link below.

http://www.thatchfireprotection.co.uk/thatchsayf-spray-system-thatch-fire-retardant/

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Highways – Thatchsayf Fire Retardant

Highways

TAS recently completed the application of Thatchsayf Fire Retardant to the recently renovated ‘Highways’ in Cheshire.

The 160m² roof was thatched by Paul Draycott.

For further information about Thatchsayf Fire Retardant, please see the link below.

http://www.thatchfireprotection.co.uk/thatchsayf-spray-system-thatch-fire-retardant/

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The Cider House – Thatchsayf Fire Retardant

The Cider House

TAS recently completed the application of Thatchsayf Fire Retardant to the newly built Cider House on the Willow Farm Estate in Heveningham, Suffolk.

The house was built by Sixsmith Build and the roof thatched by Marcus & Ben Thompson.

Prior to thatching, the roof timbers had TAS100 Thatch Fireboards fitted and 100mm Thatchbatts® installed between the rafters.

 

 

 

 

 

For further information about Thatchsayf Fire Retardant, please see the link below.

http://www.thatchfireprotection.co.uk/thatchsayf-spray-system-thatch-fire-retardant/

 

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Roundhouse – Thatchsayf Fire Retardant

Thatched Roundhouse

TAS recently treated this thatched roundhouse at Parluant Park Primary School in Slough, Berkshire with Thatchsayf Fire Retardant.

The roundhouse was thatched by Anthony Brown of Conygar Coppice. During construction, the students learnt about thatching from Anthony and helped daub the walls.

For further information about Thatchsayf Fire Retardant, please see the link below.

http://www.thatchfireprotection.co.uk/thatchsayf-spray-system-thatch-fire-retardant/

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Ideal Home Show – thatched show house

We have finally had a chance to reflect and write about our involvement in last year’s Ideal Home Show and how it came about.

In April 2016 we were approached by David Richards Associates (DRA) to see if we could help facilitate a thatched roof for one of the three show homes planned for the 2017 event. Each year, DRA build an entire show village with three show homes with very different designs and themes. The show village is the centrepiece of the event.

After many calls and emails, we met with the organisers, architects and the construction company to find out how it all comes together. Once agreed and armed with drawings, show information, build times etc. we made a start.

Paul Wareing & Tom Stevens from Heart of England Master Thatchers, both of whom have experience of working on exhibitions and film sets agreed to carry out the thatching.

The show homes are built off-site using a steel frame modular system and then transported to London Olympia for final completion. There are six individual modules that make up the show home, four of which were to be thatched. Each modular section weighs between four and six tonnes and have carefully aligned lifting points secured in the steel work.

The thatching started in January 2017 at the off-site location in West Sussex and by Friday March 17th the modules were ready and craned onto the HGVs, with an anxious Tom looking on.

Given the size of each module, transportation had to be carried out at certain times of the day at no more than 30mph with escort vehicles accompanying each HGV.

We arrived at Olympia late Saturday afternoon on the 18th March all wondering what lay ahead. We were greeted with an empty venue except for a massive crane, cherry pickers and an army of banksman to start putting the house together.  The thatched house was the first of the three to be set up and by 1.00am, the roof sections still had to be craned into place.

Sunday morning saw the roof sections finally put into place so Paul and Tom spent the rest of the day dressing and rethatching the roof where each modular section met and where the lifting straps had moved the thatch.

All works had to carried out via cherry pickers and/or drop wires. In the meantime, lorries were in and out all day bringing in the other show homes and it was quite surreal seeing how this massive arena started to take shape.

See the link below for photos of the initial build up off-site and at Olympia.

Ideal Home Show – Images

The thatched roof was finished on Monday afternoon, with the straw finials kindly provided by the very talented Master Thatcher – Lee Hawkins, who knowing the tight schedule, worked over the weekend to ensure we had them for Monday. Once all the thatching works were complete, the roof had to be treated with Thatchsayf Fire Retardant. Although no obvious risk of fire, the organisers were still somewhat nervous.

There were now three days left for the rest of the house to be ready for opening on Friday morning. This was also the time left to get our stand ready, although we were unable to make a start on the stand until Thursday morning!

Our involvement in the show meant we were given prime floor space and a (very bare and basic) stand next to the thatched house right in the middle of the venue. Prior to this there were lots of meetings, calls and emails between ourselves and designers to get the stand backdrops and furniture ready for the show.

Having only been involved previously in smaller trade shows and exhibitions it’s quite difficult to explain the sheer scale and madness involved in getting this enormous venue ready.

Hopefully the images below can tell a better story.

Ideal Home Show – More Images

From the moment the show finally opened on Friday 24th March, there were thousands of people looking round the venue and the thatched roof. This continued for the next seventeen days!

The show organisers were delighted with the finished roof and the comments and feedback from all the visitors was gratefully received.

Would we do it again?

Ummm…………………why not?

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Thatch Fires – 2018

With this cold spell set to last, it is worth repeating the message that it is crucial that chimneys and flue liners are swept and inspected.

For the last five years and always around this time of year, the UK has experienced a prolonged dry spell coupled with bitterly cold Easterly winds. This results in very dry thatch roofs and many homeowners continuing to use their wood burners and open fires much more than they normally would.

Last Friday sadly saw the first major thatch fire of the year. The cause is not yet known.

Care must be taken when first lighting and it is imperative the right fuel is used on both wood burners and open fires.

Please take time to read our thatch fire safety advice leaflet, which offers sensible advice on how to minimise the risk.

TAS – Thatch Fire Safety Advice

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Thatch Fire Protective Membranes

There are many fire membranes on the market ‘suitable for use beneath thatch’.

Are they suitable? What’s the difference?

Nearly all fire membranes are PU (polyurethane) coated.

PU28 is still often asked for and is widely used to describe fire barriers within the thatching industry. PU28 was used as a development code for a new membrane product and this code has stuck with many membranes to this day.

There are many formulations for a PU coating, some more economical than others. Some are solvent based, while most standard PU finishes would certainly fail a smoke & toxicity test.

A membrane, PU or other may have a BS type test. What test? The testing it carries may not be an indicator of a product’s quality as some tests are not as robust as others and may not be reflective of the environment in which a product is used.

Waterproof, water resistant and breathable.

Waterproof can be defined as an objects’ capacity to be impervious – water won’t get in.

Water resistant means water isn’t going to get in easily.

Breathable

An often used but nonsense adjective. Membranes cannot breathe. Nor can wine. We can.

A ‘breathable’ membrane (or breather membrane) is water resistant and air permeable. The majority of air permeable products will have a high moisture/vapour transmission rate but will not breathe.

Check if a product is waterproof and breathable – many are!!

TAS – Thatch Firewall Membrane

Manufactured in the UK.

Looks and feels similar to a PU28 type membrane but with a far superior coating – a temperature resistant aluminised polymer system.

Tested beneath a combustible material - thatch - to meet both BS476-3:2004 & BS EN 13501-5:2005.

Designated as Broof (t4) – the highest performance in accordance within the European class – BS EN 13501-5:2005, which refers to four separate tests. The suffix (t4) indicates that Test 4 is to be used for the purposes of Approved Document B (Fire Safety) B4 External fire Spread.

Water resistant and tested for air and water vapour permeability.

Tested to meet the same smoke and fire toxicity specification for commercial aircraft.

These are just a few of the tests TAS – Thatch Firewall Membrane carries. When considering a PU28 type fire barrier for use beneath thatch, it would be worth asking a few more pertinent questions.

For further details and information about TAS – Thatch Firewall Membrane, please call the office.

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Thatch Fires

Sadly there have been an alarming number of fires involving thatch already this year.

Since January 5th there have been 28 thatch related fires –  26 in the UK and 2 in the Republic of Ireland.

Of the 28, ten suffered minimal damage and/or were chimneys fires, which were successfully extinguished. Devon & Somerset were the worst affected counties with seven and four respectively.

The causes have been wide-ranging: a discarded cigarette, a nearby gorse fire close to a property and a faulty fuse box.

It is crucial that chimneys and flue liners are regularly swept and inspected. Care must be taken to ensure the right fuel is used on both wood burners and open fires.

Please take time to read our thatch fire safety advice leaflet, which offers sensible advice on how to minimise the risk.

TAS – Thatch Fire Safety Advice

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LABC Registered Details

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Thatching Advisory Services (TAS) have received notification that both their Thatch Fireboard System and Thatch Firewall Membrane System has been approved and added to the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Registered Details database. LABC registration is a one-off certification process proving compliance with building regulations and standards across the UK.

The registered details database contains various products and systems, which once certified, are accepted by LABC building control surveyors in over 300 local authorities across the country. This assures the whole construction industry that a product or system has been rigorously checked by LABC surveyors.

Full details on both systems can be viewed via the LABC links below:

LABC – Thatch Firewall Membrane System

LABC – Thatch Fireboard System

 

 

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