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Christmas

From False Chimneys to Green Roofs: Santa’s Modern Roof Landing Techniques Revealed!

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With over 28 million households in the UK alone, Santa and his reindeer have their work cut out for them on Christmas Eve! Santa travels the globe on the 24th of December, delivering his presents in his trusty sleigh with his nine amazing reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and, of course, Rudolph.

Semi-detached housing is the most common kind of home people tend to live in across both England and Wales. But with many new-build homes designed without chimneys, how exactly does Santa get into the house and where does he land his sleigh?

The team at BMI UK & Ireland recently had an exclusive visit from Santa’s Head Elf to discuss the new landing techniques that Santa will be using to access roofs everywhere this Christmas!

Key findings

  • There are over 28 million households in the UK alone.

  • Semi-detached housing is the most common kind of home people tend to live in across both England and Wales.

  • Since central heating systems became a feature in many homes in the 1970s, new builds tend not to feature a fireplace or chimney.

  • A gable-to-gable roof, also known as a duo pitch roof, is one of the most popular roof shapes in the UK.

  • Recent statistics show that over 1.3 million UK homes now have solar panels.

Chimney capers

If a home has a chimney, Santa always makes sure to land his sleigh next to it. Easy access to the chimney means he can drop his presents off easily, but Santa and his reindeer have to plan carefully to avoid landing directly on the chimney!

Since central heating systems became a feature in many homes in the 1970s, new builds tend not to feature a fireplace or chimney. This does mean that the houses themselves are simpler to build, but it did pose an access problem for Santa at first.

 

Meghan Waller, Marketing Director at BMI UK & Ireland, comments: “Some homes may have a purely decorative chimney stack – also known as a false chimney – to reflect a traditional aesthetic. These chimneys don’t have a fireplace beneath and often aren’t hollow, so if Santa tried to come down these kinds of chimneys, he would find himself stuck halfway!”

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If your house doesn’t have a chimney, or only has a decorative one, don’t worry! Santa can use his magic key to come through the front door and deliver your presents, leaving his sleigh parked safely on the roof.

Pitched roof pointers

Pitched roofs can pose a bit of a problem if you need to land a sleigh full of presents, pulled by nine fully-grown reindeer! A gable-to-gable roof, also known as a duo pitch roof, is one of the most popular roof shapes in the UK. This is because the design allows rainwater to run off easily, making it very suitable for the rainy UK weather!

If a roof is at a gentle pitch, Santa can still land his sleigh and give his reindeer a rest. He uses Christmas magic to ensure the sleigh doesn’t slide off the edge!

However, Santa can’t land his sleigh on a steeply pitched roof as there’s not enough room for the reindeer. If your roof is at an especially high pitch, Santa will jump from the sleigh and slide straight into your chimney, or down the side of the roof itself, to deliver your presents.

Flat roof freedom

Flat roofs are the perfect place for Santa’s reindeer to take a break and eat the delicious carrots that kind children have left out for them.

Flat roofs have risen in popularity in recent years for UK residential properties. Originally reserved for commercial buildings, you will now see them in urban multi-plot housing developments and apartment buildings in towns and cities. In areas with lots of homes close together, Santa will select a large, flat roof to park his sleigh and then jump from roof to roof delivering presents!

Meghan comments: “Flat roofs are popular on modern residential properties and some new builds might even feature a green roof with thriving vegetation, offering Santa an extra-soft landing! However, some flat roofs act as storage space for heating and cooling systems for buildings, so Santa will need to be extra careful not to damage anything when landing his sleigh.”

Solar panel protection

Recent statistics show that over 1.3 million UK homes now have solar panels, so Santa has to be very careful when navigating his sleigh landing!

Meghan explains that "over 1.3 million homes in the UK generate electricity through solar panels on their roofs and this is becoming more and more common. Plenty of people have other decorative designs on their roofs, including skylights to let in more sun. So, there’s plenty to navigate if you’re landing on a rooftop these days!”

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If your roof has solar panels, a glass skylight, roof lighting or decorative moulding, you can be sure Santa will tread very carefully when he visits you.

 

Whatever kind of roof you have, remember to listen out for those tell-tale jingle bells on Christmas Eve! If you’re lucky, you might even hear Santa land on your roof or find evidence of a half-eaten minced pie in the morning.

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