Thatched Properties

In the past nine years a study of media reports of serious thatch fires has revealed there has been over 500 thatch fires. With milder winters the pattern of fire occurrence is changing to the majority of thatch fires occurring between January and May, with the bulk over the Easter and May bank holiday period. In 2015 there were 35 fires up to the end of May and only 4 for the remainder of the year. The very cold period in April 2016 is showing a similar trend.

Cost to Local Authority Fire and Rescue Services

The trend appears to be 50-100 personnel on site with 8-10 appliances drawn from large catchment areas. The last time the National Society of Master Thatchers calculated cost per event (about five years ago) the average cost was £45,000.

Over the years there has been a concerted effort by Fire & Rescue services, specialist thatch insurers and the National Society of Master Thatchers (NSMT) to educate the thatch owners in risk management associated with multi fuel stoves. Historic England and local authority conservation officers have no responsibility for considering fire risk in planning decisions regarding thatch.

Chimney Fire Safety Week provides homeowners with a chance to ensure their home is safe from the dangers of a thatch fire.

The National Society of Master Thatchers has a range of fire prevention tips on their website at https://www.nsmtltd.co.uk/fire-prevention-advice.