Fire in Timber frame building under Construction

Monday, 29 September, 2014

Timber frame building under construction destroyed by fire – the soon to be completed iconic University of Nottingham’s carbon neutral laboratory is the latest of fires  involving timber framed buildings that occur during construction. Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service brought the fire under control and prevented fire spread from the site itself, which is an important aspect of any fire fighting actions.

Whilst it has yet to be determined as to the cause of the fire any ignition source can cause a fire to start and spread and in particular when a building has yet to be fully fire protected. Once the building has been completed the risk of fire, if the building is managed efficiently, is far less likely but during construction works the building remains vulnerable. The construction sector is well aware of this issue and the HSE’s guidance HSG168, fire safety in construction, together with trade association’s guidance, provides the construction sector with important direction as to how to prevent a fire and should a fire start confine fire spread to prevent full building involvement.

Ensuring adequate fire compartmentation during the construction phase is one of the key elements included in Salvus Consulting’s training programmes for Fire Safety in Construction. The programmes are run ‘on site’, where this is practical, so that the management team can see exactly what they need to consider.  It is always important to learn from such devastating fires and our thoughts are with those who have suffered as a result of the fire at Nottinghamshire University and of course to the Fire Crews who managed to control the fire effectively.