"Where a fire occurs in a timber framed building, particularly one under construction, the outcome is totally devastating" Peter Holland, Chief Fire Officers Association.

Timber frame’s burning issues

Time for rethink on housing above two storeys and care homes.

Since the Great Fire of London in 1666 the dangers of using timber frame construction methods in built up areas are blindingly obvious to everybody.
Yet timber frame construction continues to be the method of choice in North America and Scandinavia where raw materials are cheap and easy to get hold of.

The recent UK revival of this technique, after setbacks caused by widespread public concern about building quality during the 1970s and early 1980s, continues to stir up heated debate.

During the last few years serious blazes in multi-storey apartments, care homes and sites under construction have put lives at risk and raised real doubts about the indiscriminate use of this building method.

Fire services warn timber frame construction sites pose unique dangers. Blazes spread rapidly and burn with such ferocity that the intense heat damages surrounding buildings.


Likewise, fresh evidence suggests social housing rising above two storeys leaves tenants vulnerable to rapid fire spread, because essential fire protection is not always fitted in accordance with building standards.

Claims and counter claims about timber frame abound leaving home owners and housing tenants confused and worried about the risks they face.
This website offers a bank of information to keep architects, builders and owners on top of the latest issues and developments.
Timber Frame Fires aims to generate well-informed debate. It will track major fires, the causes and shed light on the risks so everybody can be certain about where timber structures can be safely used.


Your Feedback

This is a very interesting and useful site. Thank you. However, I would add, from experience, that it is not just the 'timber frame' feature that is a problem but other things linked to it. I'm particularly concerned about insulation.

You don't have to be a fire engineer to appreciate that polystyrene burns quite well! We're going to have some pretty spectacular and devastating fires in the years ahead.

I think that hackney council planners policy of making timber frame mandatory in the borough is an act of total folly. Since when did planners have any knowledge of building construction or the risks involved.
Great site thanks.




Timber-framed block of flats on Gershwin Road, Basingstoke


Major blaze at a new housing estate in Glasgow.



London Assembly report on fire safety in tall and timber-framed buildi
Fire Safety in London

17 DECEMBER 2010

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