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New contractor guidance for timber frame sites launched

The UK Timber Frame Association has launched guidance for contractors to manage fire risk to ensure timber frame sites are built safely in high-risk and densely populated areas.

The document, produced with the backing of the Health and Safety Executive, will ensure that timber-frame structures can be built anywhere in the UK and will ensure the main contractor has fully managed the fire risk and specified the correct type of timber frame in line with the guidance.

UKTA director Dr Paul Newman said: “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.”  

The Design guide to separating distances for timber frame buildings during construction document was developed in co-operation with the HSE, the Fire Protection Association, the Chief Fire Officers Association and the Fire Brigade Union (FBU).

HSE chief construction inspector Philip White said: “There have been a number of dramatic examples in recent years of the damagethat construction site fires can cause to neighbouring properties.

“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.”

Chief Fire Officers Association director Dave Curry said trade associations representing the primary methods of construction should ‘sit up and take note’ of the work the UKTA has done in dealing with fire safety.  

The guidance, which applies to structures over 600 sq m, is aimed at architects, designers, developers and contractors, enabling them to fully extract the benefits of timber frame construction and also assess the fire risk to neighboring buildings should a fire occur during construction – a requirement of HSG168 ‘Fire Safety in Construction’ published by the HSE in October 2010. 

Click here to download the document.

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