Recommissioning Woodburners

In this article, Charlotte Clayton, one of our account handlers within our Household department, focuses on the recent trend of installing woodburners in properties.

The rising cost of living may be leading thatch property owners to consider wood burners as an alternative form heating. Whilst we appreciate how testing these times are we want to ensure that we continue to protect you and your assets.

Firewood can be seen as a cheap, alternative way of heating your home in comparison to the more modern gas, electric and oil methods. However, are you aware of the risks associated with using a solid fuel appliance and the conditions applied to you policy? It is estimated that over 90% of all house fire claims in thatched properties are caused as a direct result of using a solid fuel stove or open fire. Earlier last year there were 7 fires alone reported in thatch properties over the course of a week.

If you are considering having a new stove installation you need to consider the chimney height, lining and it also has to be installed by a HETAS installer. Often new stove installations need planning permission and listed consent and should only be installed to chimneys with a minimum height of 1.8m. The chimney should also have a twin wall liner with appropriate insulation.

When installed, if you do decide to use firewood you should only burn seasoned or kiln dried wood which has been stored in a dry, airy place. The moisture content should be below 20%, and this can be checked by using a moisture sensing probe. Don’t burn any other waste material, as stoves aren’t designed for this and can lead to blocked chimneys or flues.

Under no circumstances should you use a solid fuel appliance unless there is prior agreement from your insurer and a suitable policy in place to cover you for this use – Without this you risk invalidating your insurance policy and worse still no claims being paid should they arise.

If you would like more information or advice please contact the team or send an email to and we will be happy to help.