There are between 60 and 70 serious thatch roof fires recorded annually nationwide and the figure is rising. This has resulted in increases in insurance premiums for thatched houses.

In response, the Listed Property Owners Club has tabled a unique solution which will both reduce the chances of a major thatch fire and reduce the insurance premium.

If owners install a fire alarm supplied by Prestige Fire Detection, using the same method of detection deployed in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Lark will reduce the insurance premium by as much as 40%. The system works by concealing a detection cable within the thatch (or immediately adjacent) at the point where the chimney joins the thatched roof, and then run down to a central control unit. Monitored 24/7 for temperature rises beyond a specified level; the system will sound an alarm within the home, send a data signal via the telephone network to the alarm receiving centre and alert the local fire brigade within 80 seconds.

The system costs less than £600 to install (with an annual maintenance and 24 hour remote monitoring charge of £150). It is guaranteed to reduce your Lark insurance premium by as much as 40% if you have a detached property with a wood-burning stove every year.

LPO director Peter Anslow says: ‘It’s rare to get an insurance good news story and particularly welcome in a recession. We’re extremely pleased to have found a way to protect our built heritage and our members’ interests’.

* Country houses for sale