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London to investigate timber buildings’ fire risk

Following a series of fires in London involving timber-frame buildings, the London Assembly is to investigate fire safety and to look into possible changes needed to building regulations in timber buildings.

A motion highlighted last year’s fire in Peckham involving timber-frame buildings under construction as well as one in Colindale in 2006 which saw a six-storey timber-framed building razed in nine minutes.

Darren Johnson AM chair of the London Assembly, said: “The tragic deaths of six people at the Lakanal House fire last July and a series of recent blazes involving timber-framed buildings have all too graphically highlighted the vital importance of fire safety when designing and building people’s homes.

Geoff Arnold, chairman of the UK Timber Frame Association said the recent fires highlight the importance of having a robust security and safety procedure on all construction sites.

“We are currently putting the finishing touches to our ‘SiteSafe’ initiative, which will be launched at the end of January.

“This initiative is aimed at reducing the risk of fire during the construction process and we are seeking the collaboration of relevant industry wide organisations to commit to raising safety standards across the UK’s timber frame construction sites.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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