Aviva warns of a thatched fire a day. Chimneys to blame

Aviva has warned Britain's 60,000 thatched home owners than since 1995 there have been 780 thatch fires in the UK - one a week - and last winter there were 31 fires in thatched properties in the UK.

The majority (80%) were chimney related and caused by the use of wood burning stoves or open fires, Aviva said.

Colin Connor, household underwriting manager at Aviva, said: “The use of woodburners or open fires in thatched properties can be a toxic mix. Many fires start in poorly maintained chimneys or due to faulty flue liners. It is vitally important that homeowners take sensible fire precautions to protect their homes and valuables.


"Chimneys should be professionally swept twice per year and chimney brickwork and flue lining inspected regularly.

"There are also innovations, like chimney CCTV inspections, which are now widely available and a very effective way to detect any problems such as deterioration in chimney brickwork or problems with the condition of flue liners.”

Aviva pays, on average, around £10,000 to customers who have fires in homes with standard roof construction, such as tiles and slate, but this increases to more than £100,000 for customers who suffer fires in thatched properties.