In the context of your story about insurers threatening to pull cover for timber frame (5 March, page 11) you give the impression that six people died in a timber frame building as result of a fire in a housing block in Peckham in November
This is incorrect. To our knowledge the fire in which six people died was in fact at Lakanal House in Camberwell (July 2009). This was a non timber frame building.
You also indicated that insurers could pull cover for completed timber-frame buildings. This is alarmist. All building materials are vulnerable to fire and can be challenged by insurers. We have centuries of experience of building with timber in the UK and some of the most stringent building regulations and standards in the world. Timber buildings must meet the same fire safety standards as masonry or steel-frame buildings.
With regards to the two fires on half-built timber frame schemes (referenced in your article), the UK Timber Frame Association (UKTFA), like The London assembly, agrees that fire regulations and policies need to be robust and translated into measures that cut the risk of fire. To address this, the UKTFA has initiated its SiteSafe campaign, which has now become a mandatory requirement. We must remember that the fire safety of a building is far more complicated than just looking at the materials.
Geoff Arnold, chairman, UK Timber Frame Association