Your browser (Internet Explorer 6) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.
X

Posts tagged ‘thatch fire protection’

Post

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

Share
Post

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.

Share
Post

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

Share
Post

LABC Registered Details

labc_4890_reg_regdetails_reduced

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

 

 

Share
Post

Ideal Home Show 2017

IDH logo...

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.

 

 

 

Share
Post

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.

 

 

Share
Post

Cracking thatched retreat

IMG_0074

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.

 

Share
Post

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.

Share