With the continuing debate over the safety of timber frame, multistorey construction has failed to move forward. Individuals are beating the drum about the benefits of one material over another, but surely fire-safe building design and appropriate construction training is more important?

Yes, timber burns, but masonry flakes and can even explode from fire heat. No material is without weakness and it is clear timber construction, (which has been in use for centuries in the UK) is not about to disappear.

The Passive Fire Protection Federation (PFPF) welcomes the UK Timber Frame Association’s stance on compartmentation and new research funding, but now we must address the wider fire safety issues in the built environment: adequate passive and active fire protection, third party accredited installers for fire protection materials and training and fire-safe construction.

David Sugden, chairman, PFPF