May I add to the comments made in Geoff Arnold’s letter on behalf of the UK Timber Frame Association (12 March, page 26)?
The statement that six persons died in a timber-frame building in Peckham was incorrect (the few fires reported in timber-frame houses have, as in Peckham, almost all occurred during construction and before occupation), but the statement that insurers could pull cover for timber-frame houses (12 March, page 29) is equally alarmist. The insurance industry would be unlikely to want to lose 75% of their new house business in Scotland – that is the percentage of new dwellings that are timber frame. Timber-frame buildings have to meet exactly the same stringent fire safety regulations as other building methods.
May I suggest you at least check with UKTFA in the future before publishing such alarmist stories – and take note that UKTFA has initiated its SiteSafe campaign and has worked closely with BRE and fire authorities throughout its existence, as have all its members.
Ian Scott-Watson, The Border Design Centre
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