Do you live in a Thatched Cottage?

Hampshire Fire and Rescue have some great advice for thatched cottage owners.

Chimneys and flues

  • keep chimneys in good condition: re-point or line as necessary
  • any re-thatch or major ridge job should have all material taken from around the chimney so that it can be checked and repaired if needed
  • the chimney, if used by any appliance producing flue gases, should be linked according to the manufacturer’s specification and, in the case of solid fuels, should be swept regularly
  • the top of the stack should be no closer than 1.8 metres from the ridge vertically and, in the case of a stack in the wall, 4 metres vertically from any thatch surface
  • do not build, rebuild or design chimneys which pass close to or through thatch without appropriate expert advice
  • do not pass metal and other heat conducting flues through thatch
  • spark arrestors should be fitted and maintained/cleaned on a regular basis

Smoke alarms

  • most thatch fires start in the roof space and, due to the thickness of the roof, may not be apparent for many hours
  • fit low voltage, mains powered, linked smoke alarms

Electrical wiring/lighting

  • all electrical wiring in the loft space should be routed in appropriate fire retardant ducting
  • do not cut recessed lighting into the ceilings below the thatch
  • light fittings within the roof space should be in a bulkhead fitting
  • external floodlights should not be located just under thatch overhangs

Fireworks, bonfires and garden fires

  • if you have barbecues, bonfires or firework parties make sure they are not too close to the house and be sensible with garden fires


  • ensure any person working in or on the house is aware of the dangers which the careless use of naked flame can bring
  • blow lamps are not safe to use in the roof space
  • do not allow flame stripping of paint around eaves

Effects, impact and causes of thatch fires

Our thatch property video explains the effects and impact that a thatched property fire has on the occupiers and the community.