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Bank charges: Chimneys a fire threat this winter

Thatched homeowners across Britain are being warned to check their chimneys before lighting up open fires or wood burners this festive season.

Insurer Aviva revealed that there have been 900 thatch fires in the UK since 1995, which is around one every week. These are largely caused by chimney problems and the intense heat of fires.

The typical thatch fire can cost homeowners around £160,000, which could leave people struggling to pay loan charges.

"The use of woodburners and open fires in thatched properties can be a toxic mix. Many fires start in poorly maintained chimneys or are due to faulty flue-liners," said Colin Connor, household underwriting manager at Aviva.

As such, taking precautions is vital. He recommends getting a professional sweep twice a year, as well as the chimney brickwork and flue lining regularly inspected.

Although fires in home with thatched roofs are less common than standard houses, the damage is much greater once the fire takes hold.

Samantha Clarke

Samantha is a former banking assistant and has over ten years experience in retail banking.ADNFCR-2776-ID-801506841-ADNFCR

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