Save your thatch from a roof blaze

PUBLISHED: 15:55 19 April 2007 | UPDATED: 10:19 31 May 2010

A typical thatched cottage

A typical thatched cottage

OWNERS of thatched properties in Uttlesford are invited to attend a seminar aimed at reducing the number of devastating thatched roof fires across the county. Station Officer Darren Riddell, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service s Community Safety for Uttl

OWNERS of thatched properties in Uttlesford are invited to attend a seminar aimed at reducing the number of devastating thatched roof fires across the county.

Station Officer Darren Riddell, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service's Community Safety for Uttlesford and Braintree Community Command, will be hosting the event at Sible Hedingham Fire Station next Wednesday (April 25).

The seminar will teach people living in thatched cottages the best way to stay safe and stop a fire destroying their homes.

Stn officer Riddell said: "We have had around 10 fires in thatched properties in Essex in the last 12 months, all of them serious and with the roof alight.

"When a thatched roof catches fire the effects can be devastating and cause huge amounts of destruction to the property.

"In Uttlesford we have a high concentration of thatched properties, somewhere in the region of 1600, and we want to reduce the number of fires in these types of properties by making people who live in them aware of the precautions they can take to make their homes safer."

The fire service has joined forces with other experts in the field, including the manufacturer of a product which makes thatched roofs more heat resistant, to make residents aware of precautions.

"Ninety per cent of these fires start by heat being conducted from chimneys and our seminar will take people through the safety precautions they need to stop their chimneys from starting a fire on the roof," Stn officer Riddell said.

"Everyone who is interested is invited to the seminar and we will have speakers there from National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance, Thatchguard and the Solid Fuel Association to cover all the safety advice to keep people living in thatched homes safe from a potentially devastating fire."

The seminar takes place on Wednesday evening from

7pm until 9pm, at Sible Hedingham Fire Station Rectory Road, Sible Hedingham.

If you would like more advice and information on thatched property fire prevention, call Stn officer Riddell on 01376 345537.

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