New Health & Safety Executive (HSE) document Fire Safety in Construction incorporates many of the timber frame industry’s own guidelines on site safety, according to the UK Timber Frame Association (UKTFA).

The UKTFA said the HSE document forces the entire construction industry to take the same responsibility towards limiting the risk of fire on construction sites that the timber frame industry took almost a year ago through the Site Safe initiative.

“The timber frame industry constantly comes under scrutiny when it comes to the fire debate and this document is a very clear indicator that all forms of construction need to wake up to greater responsibility,” said Geoff Arnold, UKTFA chairman.

“Put simply, fire is not a timber frame problem – it’s an industry problem. We all share the same responsibility, regardless of the construction method.”

Mr Arnold took issue with some media reports that say the document suggests alternative methods of building should be considered as a matter of course in limiting the risk of fire.

He said the document states that the location and vulnerability of a site should be considered as part of fire safety risk management.

“It gives the example of a timber frame scenario where by it may be more cost effective to consider alternative methods of construction – that’s common sense – not an argument for or against timber frame.”