As reported earlier this year, fires in timber-framed properties under construction are increasing, and a recent blaze at a site in Hampshire has sparked further safety fears.
The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) has been reported by the BBC as saying that lives are being put at risk and that building regulations need to take account of this, yet more and more domestic and commercial properties are being built using timber frames. The CFOA stated Large, timber framed buildings under construction pose a significant risk to firefighters, construction workers and members of the public. While there will always be a level of risk of fire in any building, the level of fire resistance depends on the quality of construction and materials used.
The fire in Basingstoke comes after similar fires at construction sites in Glasgow and Peckham; Engineered Off-Site Systems (EOS) has recently begun to manufacture steel frames as replacement structures to the apartments destroyed in the Peckham fire.
Steel has many benefits such as its low cost, flexibility, durability and strength in extreme conditions, all of which make it an ideal choice in building construction.
The benefits of steel are well documented and EOS manufactures a wide variety of systems for the construction industry says EOS Steve Thompson Managing Director, but the recent reports of serious fires on construction sites using timber frames highlights one of the most important benefits of steel that it is safe.
EOS is happy to be able to provide a safer solution to the Peckham construction but we think that the wider issue needs to be addressed before a more serious incident occurs. We advocate a greater use of steel as it has all the advantages of timber frame without the flames.