Fire performance of timber frame dwellings

Date Published

10 August 2022

Document Type




This Wood Information Sheet, produced in association with the UK Timber Frame Association, explains the basic principles used in meeting fire performance requirements and provides guidance to ensure that all parties involved understand their role in the design and construction of a timber frame building.

The sheet considers both the design and construction of the timber frame building in relation to the Building Regulations for England and Wales. It also looks at fire safety on construction sites.

How buildings behave in fire
How timber performs in fire
Essential elements for fire resistance
Typical tasks for designers and builders
Fire during construction
Restoration after a fire

Key Information

A building fire is a complex phenomenon that the building industry divides (for the purpose of testing) into two stages – ignition and fire-growth, and the fully developed fire.

Timber burns steadily at a predictable rate and, in the process, chacoal is formed on the surface of the timber, which serves to insulate and protect the core.

The correct installation of cavity barriers on a timber frame site is of paramount importance.

Case studies

The new Maritime Museum, completed in 2002, is set between the town centre and the large warehouses of the docks. Here it provides a focus for local identity and attracts the visitors on which the Cornish economy now depends.

The new visitor centre replaces facilities – community room, shop, restaurant and exhibition areas – formerly housed in buildings which have now been redeveloped to provide a cycle centre; the centre also aims to improve and develop the forest as a regional centre of excellence for sustainable economic activity.