PREVENT CHIMNEY RELATED FIRE IN YOUR THATCHED HOME THIS WINTER!


PREVENT CHIMNEY RELATED FIRE IN YOUR THATCHED HOME THIS WINTER!

Properties most at risk

Old properties with thatched roofs are incompatible with the installation of modern wood burning stoves particularly in traditional chimney breasts. A thatch fire, once alight is almost impossible to control. In some at risk properties there is no safe way to use a wood burning stove; choose an alternative, open fire, oil gas or electric enclosed fire. Chimney fires are high risk for properties with a thatched roof, but for all wood burning stove users there are common sense preventative actions that can be taken:

Chimneys

  • Modern multi fuel stoves fitted into old fire places and inglenooks can compromise chimney safety and cause a fire in the thatch (even badly fitted new ones).
    Action: Get the installation checked.
  • Sweep the chimney twice a year.
    Action: Sweep in October – October Sweep again in February – March
  • Birds love to nest in open chimney pots. Action: Fit a bird guard.Using a log burner safely

    The only safe fuel is properly seasoned wood, which is often hard to find, it should ideally be cut in year one stored in year two and used in year three. An alternative is to buy kiln dries wood from a reputable supplier. Birds love to nest in open chimney pots, a bird guard will help.

    • Start the fire using only firelighters, kindling or small amounts of paper.
      Action: check the moisture content is below 20%, using a probe (obtainable from any builders merchant) Or buy professionally kiln dried wood.
    • Use a chimney thermometer to optimise burn conditions, too hot will compromise the temperature gradient between chimney bricks and flue gases even with a liner. Too cold will allow a build-up of tar, which if left can cause chimney fires.Look for the warning signs
    • Stoves are not incinerators; do not burn any waste materials.
    • Chemically treated timbers and building waste will produce tar.
    • A properly managed fire, using the correct fuel will not blacken the glass
    • Look at bird guards and spark arrestors, if they are black there will be tar build up in the chimneywhich could ignite (This is the most common cause of chimney fires and is completely avoidable).
    • Soot is a powder; any lumps indicate tar formation in the flue.
    • Be aware a fire can burn undetected in a deep thatch for several days before it is detected.Be aware a fire can burn undetected in a deep thatch for several days before it is detected, with thatch:

      PREVENTION IS ESSENTIAL DETECTION IS NEARLY ALWAYS TOO LATE

 

thumbnail of fire prevention alarm sheet 241016

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