Stour Valley Master Thatchers Prioritise the Dorset Model – The Industries Guidelines For Safety & Fire Prevention All Across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk & Cambridgeshire

Requirements are stipulated as:

  1. Rafters are to be overdrawn with a minimum 30 minute fire barrier (integrity and insulation) and this barrier should also resist water. 50 x 25mm battens are recommended on a micro-porous boarding to allow the thatch to breathe. (Dorset Fire and Rescue Service recommend a 60 minute barrier under the thatch for property protection).

  2. The chimney, including the pot, should finish at least 1.8m above the height of the ridge. Due to the risk of condensation forming as hot gases cool, the chimney pots should be limited to a maximum height of 600mm.

  3. A domestic mains and battery powered interlinked smoke alarm system will be required. One smoke alarm must be fitted in the roof void. The system should mainly be in accordance with that specified in Approved Document B.

  4. Any written comments of the adjoining property owners will be requested by the local authority for consideration.

  5. A terrace may not consist of more than three thatched dwellings together.

In addition to the measures that may be required by Building Control there are a number of recommendations

  1. The provision of a loft hatch is recommended for fire-fighting purposes. The minimum recommended size is 600mm x 900mm.

  2. Advice should be sought from an approved electrical contractor regarding the most appropriate types of wiring. Effects from rodent damage and straw debris need to be considered.

  3. It is not recommended to cut recessed lighting into the ceiling below the thatch. Light fittings within the roof space to be in a bulk head fitting. External floodlights should not be located just under thatch.

  4. Spark arrestors on the flues are not recommended because they can clog and restrict the flow of flue gases.

  5. It is recommended that an external water tap supplied from the rising main, is fitted with a hose capable of reaching all parts of the roof.

  6. Any metal plumbing in the roof space should use compression joints to avoid the use of blow torches.