A quintessential “Chocolate box” thatched house is a unique feature of the UK country landscape. Add a glowing wood burning stove on a chilly spring evening and the picture becomes a rural dream for some lucky (or unlucky) families; that dream combination is not without extreme risk for the unwary. A chimney fire is wholly preventable. In a thatched property, a fire in the chimney can easily spread to the thatch and once alight thatch is very difficult, almost impossible, to put out. The damage caused in dealing with a thatch chimney fire can be devastating.
Records taken over many years show March to June, is the most likely time to experience a chimney fire. Peak times are during cold spring bank-holiday weekends, after the central heating has been turned off.
There are two causes of chimney fires, nesting birds and using unsuitable material as fuel.