Our Best Tips For Fire Safety In Timber Buildings

Published Thursday 04th May 2017

It’s incredibly important to think about limiting the spread of fire in a timber building during its design phase. There are a lot of things you can do to decrease the risk of a fire when you live in your build, such as turning off all appliances when you’re not using them, ensuring all potential fire exits aren’t blocked, and closing doors behind you. You can, however, ensure greater safety by taking fire precautions into consideration during the build.

The individual or company that’s designing the building has a responsibility to specify materials that will reduce fire ignition and decrease the spread of a fire. A well-designed building will allow people who are in an enflamed building to escape, and should be built in a way that will help the fire service deal with the fire in a safe and controlled way.

Design considerations

The amount of rooms your space is split into will determine how fast a fire will spread throughout your home/building. The walls and ceilings of your build should be created from fire-resistant material, with insulation that has equally been fire-tested. This will help limit the spread of fire to just one room for a longer period of time.

For a timber building, the linings of the compartment floors and walls should provide fire resistance – a product that has been tested to BS EN 1365-17 or BS EN 1995-1-2 requirements should do the trick.

There should also be cavity barriers included between a timber-frame structure and any cladding materials to limit the spread of fire. Cavity barriers are tested to provide 30 minutes of resistance to a fire.

Space separation

Space separation maintains that any potential combustible materials or open spaces in a building’s design are situated a suitable distance from each other, and from other buildings, to limit damage if a fire occurs. If you’re creating your own build, ensure you check materials to see how susceptible they are to fire, and only use them if they’re 100% necessary.

Fire resistance

Fire resistance is calculated in time – e.g. how long a certain element can withstand fire for. It’s important to check that your walls, floor and roof are as tough as possible. This can measured in a number of ways:

  • The structural loadbearing capacity – e.g. how long a wall can carry the load of a roof before it collapses
  • The integrity of the element – e.g. how long it can resist fire breaking through
  • The insulation levels – e.g. how much an element can resist the transferal of heat

Ensure these tests are carried out on any material you’re using. Positive results will give you peace of mind and keep you as safe as possible.

There we have it

We hope this information helps you create a safe and fire-resistant build. If you have any other tips for our readers, feel free to tweet us! If you need some timber supplies for your own build, contact us and find out how we can help.