Fire chiefs raise timber-frame safety concerns

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Is there an increased fire risk from timber-framed buildings?

This increasingly popular house style, which is favoured by many self-builders because of its ease of construction, is due to come under the microscope after the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) said its members are dealing with an increasing number of fires as timber-framed properties are being built.

It says that, while such buildings are not inherently unsafe, fires tend to spread faster and burn more intensely. It has called for changes to the building regulations and the government has promised to investigate. The BBC has the story:

Concern over fires in timber frames under construction

The fire service says these buildings are completely safe as long as fire prevention measures are not compromised, but that occupants may not realise that DIY or even professional building work may increase the risk of fire spreading.

Firefighters say there is a huge amount of heat generated with fires involving timber-framed construction, meaning crews cannot get near the building to tackle them.

The government says it is listening to the fire chiefs’ concerns and will work with the industry to establish if there are risks associated with timber-framed buildings. Read the full story here…

• If you have any questions about self-build, a good place to start is BuildStore – which aims to make this method of construction a real alternative for anyone looking to move home or create their own living space.

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