FIRE SAFETY BREAKTHROUGH WILL HELP SAVE LIVES
An important new fire safety device that has just come on the market is aimed at giving owners of thatched properties peace of mind – and cheaper insurance.
The past two years have experienced the highest ever number of fires in thatched properties primarily due to poorly maintained chimneys. In most cases, the results were devastating where damage was concerned and, in others, tragic in terms of lost lives. Now it’s hoped that the Chimney Temperature Monitor - which can send out a two-stage alarm when a flue starts to overheat - will play a significant role in reducing these blazes.
Funding for the research and development that went into creating the Monitor was provided by the 37,000-member strong Thatched Owners Group (TOG) with help through the Department of Trade and Industry. Managing director Tim New said that the idea for the invention came about after the association had discussions with homeowners, insurance underwriters and representatives from the electronics industry.
He said: ‘We believe the Monitor will start a nationwide campaign to promote fire safety in thatched properties, TOG is playing its part by establishing a network of specialists able to remedy any problems homeowners may have with their chimneys. We will also be offering advice on using open fires as well as woodburning and multi-fuel stoves. A series of workshops to help homeowners will be starting early next year.’
The key to fire safety is prevention, according to Mr New, ‘as, when a thatch fire starts, there is very little chance of saving the property’.
‘However, the Monitor can help eliminate fires by providing a continual 24-hour, 365- days-a-year surveillance of overheating within the chimney. The two-stage alarm is both audible and visual - in terms of a series of flashing lights - emitting a loud siren noise similar to a burglar alarm that can be heard both inside and outside. But, most importantly, both stages are activated well within the heat limits that would start a fire. The system has also the option of linking into a 24-hour manned centre’.
‘It should be added that the Monitor, although designed specifically for the thatched market, can be installed in all other houses that have open fires and stoves. We are also getting interest from commercial premises such as pubs and restaurants’.
The Monitor is delivered to the homeowner in a secure briefcase with an easy-to- understand user guide and instructions for fitting, which should take about two hours. One critical part of the Monitor is a control unit that allows homeowners to see the temperature of the chimney at all times.
A further bonus for those who buy the Monitor which costs £455.00 is that TOG has negotiated a substantial discount on home insurance. In some cases, the savings on insurance would pay for the monitor within two years.
contact Thatched Owners Insurance Services :
Tel: 01406 330007
Fax: 01406 331185
or e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org