Thatch blaze warning in Sidmouth and Ottery

PUBLISHED: 18:08 29 March 2011

CHIMNEY sweeping and smoke alarms are key in preventing devastating blazes at thatched-roof properties, fire chiefs warned Sidmouth and Ottery residents this week.

CHIMNEY sweeping and smoke alarms are key in preventing devastating blazes at thatched-roof homes, fire chiefs warned Sidmouth and Ottery residents this week.

Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (DSFRS) has reminded householders that more than 80per cent of thatched properties in the UK are located in Devon and Somerset.

“Fire in thatch is not an inevitable occurrence but it is an organic material, subject to different behaviour patterns depending on its surroundings…and above all it’s combustible,” said a fire service spokesperson.

“Fire in a thatched roof is difficult to detect and once started is almost impossible to control as it will spread rapidly, due to the very nature of how thatch burns and detection is often too late and invariably devastating. A thatched home can be ruined not only by the fire but by the amount of water needed to put it out.”

The fire service urges that, in a thatched property, smoke alarms need to be fitted in the roof space and linked to the others in a home. Regular chimney sweeping, inspection, and cleaning of chimney flues is also advised.


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