Fire safety in timber-framed buildings
I wonder if the government in the shape of the Communities and Local Government department (CLG) has been a bit too hasty in rejecting the findings and recommendations of the recent London Assembly report which called for greater regulation of fire safety on timber frame construction sites and in residential blocks?
In the report, (http://www.london.gov.uk/who-runs-london/the-london-assembly/publications/housing-planning/fire-safety-in-london) the assembly included a call for improved fire safety during the construction phase of timber-framed buildings, better fire risk assessment processes and that residents of tall buildings should have better information about evacuation procedures and the way DIY modifications can compromise fire safety measures. It also asked the CLG to ensure all social landlords publish a full register of fire risk assessments online; provide existing and new residents with better information about what to do in the event of a fire; and ensure that inspecting for unauthorised or damaging works are part of routine estate inspections by housing staff.
In response, CLG concluded that further regulation is “not an appropriate approach at this time”
Following up the department’s decision, chair of the London Assembly planning and housing committee, Nicky Gavron AM, pointed out that the assembly was not asking for further regulation, but that the evidence received suggested that existing regulations may be flawed and therefore require urgent review.
I may be biased but I can’t help feeling that use of traditional construction – bricks, blocks, mortar and concrete - is a much simpler and safer answer all round – and demonstrably more sustainable to boot!