Karen Crouch writes from the Thatch Advice Centre on Thatch, Chimneys and Working Together
Hello to all the readers of Sweep Stuff Magazine from us at the Thatch Advice Centre. Good time for a catch up with those who know us and introduce ourselves to those who donít, plus an inflation busting offer.
We have good reason for being in touch with you all. As a free resource centre, our website has a wealth of useful and free information on thatched properties, and this obviously includes chimney sweeping and Fire Safety.
Chimney maintenance with regard to thatch fire safety and insurance policy requirements is essential. Knowledge, education and understanding are so important. If you can help promote the up-to-date information on this topic whilst assisting homeowners with their chimneys, our working together will be even more beneficial.
We thought this title, emphasising this obvious point would encourage you to read on. Perhaps to even think about joining our Thatch Advice Centre Associates. Offer your services to our thatched homeowners to keep them safer and meet their insurance requirements. Before that we want to mention a few important related points.
Burning Solid Fuel in Thatched Properties
The cost-of-living crisis has caused more people, including those in thatched properties, to burn solid fuel. We have had so many enquiries on this topic already this year. It is easy for organisations to say a blanket ìDonít burn solid fuel if you have a thatched propertyî but we know that this may not be appropriate or what is really happening.
Thatch Fire Statistics
We have been helping Historic England by identifying any fires in the roof of thatched properties both listed and non-listed. If you hear of any, please do let us know as current Fire Service data is not so useful. Only with good thatch fire statistics can best progress be made. Our emphasis is always on prevention, as thatch fires are notoriously hard to extinguish. That is where chimney sweeping services are so important.
The Up-To-Date Information
Recent forensic investigations proved that the majority of thatch fires were started by ejected sparks and embers from chimneys. Further research from the Fire Protection Agency (FPA) proved that chimney maintenance and care when burning also made a big difference in fire safety and importantly, the old heat transfer through solid brickwork theory was ìunrealistic of reality”.
This is why we promote the up-to-date information, so that we can reduce the chances of thatched properties catching fire in the first place. The importance of chimney maintenance and care in all properties with working chimneys must be emphasised, to reduce the fire risk.
Have a look on our website
• The Burgones Forensic Investigation Report into thatch fires
• The FPA Research into Chimneys, Woodburners and thatched properties
• Our Thatch Fire Safety Leaflet is a free download from our website and very handy for any of your thatch clients we love #workingtogether.
How you can help
Chimney maintenance and services (often with thatchers) can:
• Identify damaged brickwork
• Identify construction issues e.g. wooden structures within a chimney
• Identify damaged liners
• Help educate customers on efficient burning practices
• Identify dirty or tarred chimneys ñ cause of chimney fires which is a risk to thatch
• Meet insurance requirements with regular checks, sweeping and certificates
• Identify regulations and help meet them and insurance requirements e.g. chimney height
• Help educate homeowners in best fire safety practice
• Help ensure that any new solid fuel installations meet regulations
• Identify other services who can assist in resolving any issues e.g. builders, lead workers.
Join Us – Use this Inflation Busting Offer
We would love to have more Chimney Sweeps, Chimney and Flue Specialists, Solid Fuel and Heating Suppliers join us on our bespoke Thatch Directory www.thatchdirectory.co.uk
Three Years Advertising for the price of One!!
A local advert in your county would then work out a total of £60 (only £20 per year over the 3 years). References are required but we know that members can easily provide them.
Donít forget to use this special code 3YEARS1 at checkout to take advantage of this offer (valid until 11th September 2023). New advertisers are also welcome on our social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and are mentioned in our next Newsletter which has over 6,000 subscribers (due October).
Thank you for reading this, please stay in touch and letís keep #workingtogether.