The issue of building site fires is too serious for commercial point scoring to be appropriate, says John White, CEO of the Timber Trades Federation.
Writing in buildersmerchantsjournal.net’s Guest Blog slot, White points out that the video story Timber-frame buildings more at risk of fire doesn’t explain that the fire featured was on a site which had apparently been dormant for 18 months, the developer had gone bust and it was, unsurprisingly, a regular target of vandalism
It would be wrong, White says, to respond by campaigning against brick and block, and indeed steel, on the basis of its unpredictable performance in fires. “The real facts about performance have to be assessed and dealt with in a grown up way. There will be different responses at different stages of the build depending on the method and material of construction. For example, when there was an issue about the vulnerability of construction sites to vandalism and arson – the UK Timber Frame Association introduced its Site Safe scheme.”
He also says that a recent Government report showed that last year roughly 800 fires were in timber frame buildings and 47,000 in other forms of construction. “There is no greater likelihood of a fire in a timber frame building than in a building built with other mainstream materials.”
“Everyone involved in construction must do everything they can to ensure buildings are as fire safe as possible both in construction and in use.”
Read the rest of John White’s Guest blogs in our Blog section.