In an open letter to the industry, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) warned that designers and those involved in procurement will be held responsible for ensuring timber frame designs fully take into account the proximity of neighbouring buildings.
The move from the HSE follows a number of serious timber frame structure fires during the construction phase. Head of Construction Sector and Policy, Simon Longbotham said the HSE’s main priority is to ensure that fire does not spread into neighbouring buildings:
“Evidence from recent HSE inspections indicates that the risk of harm to occupants of neighbouring buildings from fire during the construction phase is not always effectively managed.”
He also added that not all duty holders understood what is required of them.
Your Duties Explained
With that in mind, here is a summary of the duties of a designer, specifier and contractor to manage fire risk in timber frame construction:
Tenos welcomes the open letter from the HSE: “It clearly sets out the duties of designers, specifiers and contractors which is what the industry urgently needed.”
“It is now time for the industry to act to prevent any loss of life. We urge designers to engage fire engineers in the early design stages. A suitable, sound and cost effective fire engineered solution can be provided to effectively manage fire risk in timber frame structures pre construction and during site work.”
Read the HSE’s open letter in full.