DORSET fire service officials are asking thatched cottage owners to make use of all available safety advice following a spate of fires in the county.

“The counties of Dorset and Wiltshire have thousands of thatched homes,” said a spokesman. “Although there is no increased risk of fire within thatched properties, the impact of a fire is far greater.”

Thatch fires are typically attended by more than 50 firefighters and at least eight appliances. Fires can burn for more than 24 hours.

The National Society of Master Thatchers estimate that the average cost of a thatch fire is in excess of £45,000.

Homeowners living in properties with thatched roofs can find more information on protecting their homes via