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Posts tagged ‘thatch fire protection’

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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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Ideal Home Show 2017

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Thatching Advisory Services are pleased to announce their involvement in the ‘Future Thatch’ project at the 2017 Ideal Home Show.

The project will see TAS working alongside master thatcher – Paul Wareing (Heart of England Master Thatchers) – www.heartofenglandthatchers.com

The ‘Future Thatch’ project will see a newly built thatched property in the main show village.

Every year, the main stunning feature of the Ideal Home Show is the three fully built show homes where over 250,000 visitors have the opportunity to fully explore and take inspiration from. The last time a thatched house featured in the Ideal Home Show was 1976.

Each show home is built to Building Regulations and like many thatched new builds; the show home will incorporate the TAS Thatch Fireboard System and Thatchsayf Fire Retardant Spray System.

We are delighted to play a leading role on the thatched show home and will be on hand throughout the show, which runs from March 24th – April 9th 2017 at Olympia in London.

 

 

 

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Thatch Fire Research

Thatch research update

TAS recently attended a workshop to hear the results to date of an NFU Mutual Insurance, Historic England & RISCAuthority research project, which was carried out at the Fire Protection Association’s (FPA) advanced fire test laboratory.

A number of delegates with a professional (and personal) interest in thatch and fire safety were in attendance. Four key speakers offered an interesting insight into the cause of thatch fires and what we can all do to try and minimise the risk:

  • Craig Lawrence – NFU Mutual
  • Dr Jim Glockling – Fire Protection Association & RISCAuthority
  • Alison Henry – Historic England
  • Keith Benjamin – Burgoynes Forensic Investigators

As expected, the main cause of thatch fires is thought to be ejected embers. As soon as the finished guidance and findings become  available, we will of course look to share this information as well as future information resulting from further planned research.

 

 

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Cracking thatched retreat

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Continuing with their busy programme of thatched roof fire protection, TAS recently applied its Thatchsayf Fire Retardant Spray System to the thatched roof of a cracking garden retreat in Bedford.

The retreat was built and thatched by Harry Roberts who is based in Bedford.

We have a number of unusual (and more conventional) projects coming up shortly – provided the summer behaves!

Keep an eye out on the blog for details. If you have any questions about our fire retardant spray system or would like an ‘affordable’ quote & ‘professional service’ or require general thatch advice please contact us.

 

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Chimneys in thatch

There are approximately 60,000 thatched properties in the UK, of which 50-80 suffer a serious fire each year, most of which are completely destroyed. 90% of the homes struck by thatch fire have a combination of a wood burning stove either a flexible chimney liner or no liner at all.

Condition
Chimneys should be checked to ensure the brick or stonework is in good condition. Old or poorly maintained chimneys with loose or missing bricks & mortar and not lined, could allow hot gases and smoke to escape into upper rooms, the loft space or directly onto the thatch. If re-thatching works are taking place and the thatch around the chimney stack is removed, the thatcher will be able to advise on its condition.

Maintenance
Ensure chimneys are regularly swept by an experienced and qualified chimney sweep. This normally needs to be done at least twice a year, however if the chimney is used frequently during the winter period then additional sweeping may be required. Your sweep will be able to offer you further advice. Many chimney engineers and other specialist companies offer a CCTV survey, this is recommended to check the internal condition of the flue.  Again check with your property insurer because some of them have a list of approved companies.

Liner
A number of thatch fires occur as a result of old or inappropriate flue liners, therefore chimneys serving either an open fire  or multi-fuel appliance should be suitably lined. Contact an appropriate professional body such as HETAS so a registered  chimney engineer can review the liner (if already installed) to ensure it is fit for purpose for the type of appliance or fire in  use.

An engineer will also be able to advise on the condition of the liner and recommend on how often it should be  checked. If you are considering installing a wood-burner or similar, again contact HETAS who will advise on the most  suitable appliance and liner for the property.

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