Thatched Cottages: Comment from Dorest Fire & Rescue: Of the approximate 50,000 thatched homes in the UK, we have 2446 'listed' thatched properties in Dorset and about the same number unlisted, (in 1998). This number is increasing as many new-build thatched houses are being constructed in the county. Insurance company statistics indicate that nationally approximately 1.5% are likely to suffer thatch related fires in any one year and that 70% of these are likely to involve the burning of solid fuel.
Although thatched fires are given a high profile in the media, this is mainly due to their spectacular nature, rather than their frequency. With good Fire Safety practices in place they are no more likely to catch fire than any other property of the same age but, should a fire occur, the potential for fire damage is that much greater. See last 2 links on this web page too for more advice for thatched properties.