Timber Frame construction has increased significantly over the last 10 years, and continues to do so, with reduced costs in both materials and labour, to increased sustainability and environmental benefits. As with all other types of material and construction methods, finished timber frame structures meet strict fire protection requirements and similarly comply with Building Regulations, in this regard.
However the timber frame is at its most vulnerable during the construction process, when the frame is 'untreated' and / or exposed, and depending on the proximity to neighbouring properties 'off the site', can cause a significant risk in terms of the potential for the spread of fire from in-particular, radiant heat.
Where there are multiple or large buildings on the construction site itself, means of escape for occupants / operatives on the site itself should also be evaluated in terms of the risk from spread of fire between buildings, or across the site.
Due to the already ever increasing and recent increase in the profile of fire safety, both on construction sites and elsewhere, the HSE are taking a more pro-active role in enforcement, and timber frame developments are coming under more scrutiny, with all projects over a certain size being registered with the CFOA and the HSE.
As with all other premises, construction sites, including timber frame developments, have to have suitable fire precaution measures and arrangements in place, and where applicable this should include mitigation against the potential for fire spread both on and off the site. There should also be sound management procedures, records and documentation in place to demonstrate compliance with legislative requirements.
Falcon Fire is a member of both the STA (Structural Timber Association) and the FPA (Fire Protection Association), specialising in Construction Site and Timber Frame Fire Safety and Risk Assessments, and provides specialist advice to a number of large and National companies / Building Contractors, from the Planning Stage through to completion. If you require any advice or information in this regard, please contact us to discuss your requirements. We will be glad to assist.