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NEW TIMBER FRAME CONSTRUCTION FIRE SAFETY GUIDANCE

HSE backs UKTFA guidance on timber frame site fire risk management

The UK Timber Frame Association (UKTFA) has published “the definitive Guidance to building timber frame safely on sites in high-risk and densely populated areas”.

The guidance has been developed with the backing of the HSE to “drive the issue of fire risk management right back to the early stages of the specification process”. It  is hoped to ensure the main contractors have fully managed the fire risk and specified the correct type of timber frame in line with the Guidance.

Design guide to separating distances for timber frame buildings during construction – is the result of fire testing and expert input from the fire engineering community. It has been developed in co-operation with HSE, the Fire Protection Association (FPA), the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and the Fire Brigade Union (FBU).

The Guidance applies to structures over 600m2 and is aimed at architects, designers, developers and contractors. It covers the period during construction prior to the completion of fire resistant finishes and determines the appropriate separating distances between buildings to minimise the heat radiation to neighbouring properties in the event of a construction site fire.

The user can select Category A, B or C frame type depending on the site conditions and distances to surrounding buildings. A recommended timber frame solution can then be specified to suit the individual site location and conditions.

HSE welcomes guide as ” sound basis” for control 

Dr. Paul Newman, Director of the UKTFA says

“Managing the risk of fire on construction sites is not a consideration for the timber frame community alone, it affects all forms of construction. The UKTFA has paved the way in setting a standard for main contractors to follow when managing site safety.

We are delighted that the HSE and CFOA consider our Guidance worthy of their endorsement and pleased that they felt able to commend our proactive approach in setting fire safety standards.”

 Philip White, HSE Chief Inspector of Construction comments:

“HSE has been working closing with the UKTFA on assessing off-site fire risk and we welcome its new guidance. UKTFA’s Separating Distance Guidance is based on the latest scientific knowledge and provides the industry with a sound basis to help control the risks of projects involving timber frame structures”.

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