Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service: Is Your Thatched Property at Risk of Fire?

There are few things more picturesque than the classic image of the UK countryside, complete with a thatched property.
There are thousands of beautiful and unique thatched properties across both Dorset and Wiltshire, all of which carry an increased risk of fire.
As we move towards the colder months, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) is reminding those living in thatched properties of these risks.

Thatch fires can be difficult to tackle as the thatch itself is designed to repel water, so the straw has to be stripped away to give firefighters access to the flames.

Research has shown that a major cause of fires in thatched properties is heat transfer from the chimney into the thatch, with then reaches its ignition temperature catching fire.

Station Manager, Jason Rogers said: “Thatched properties are at greater risk of a fire developing due to the materials used in its construction. I would recommend that homeowners should take full advantage of any steps that can be taken to reduce these risks.”

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is offering these top tips to anybody who lives in a property with a thatched roof:

  • Have the chimney inspected by a qualified chimney engineer
  • Have the chimney swept regularly by a qualified chimney sweep
  • Fit a bird guard to deter birds from building nests in chimneys
  • Insulate the chimney flue to prevent the heat from transferring into the thatch layer
  • Only burn seasoned wood
  • Make sure you have a smoke alarm on every floor of your home, including in the loft if you have one
  • If you have a spark arrestor fitted, clean it regularly
  • Restrict the use of bonfires near to your property

For more information about how to stay safe in a thatched property, please visit or to see if you are eligible for a FREE Safe and Well visit, please call 0800 038 2323.