Latest Blocks of Flats News
There are calls this week for timber to the banned in the construction of new blocks of flats following a large scale fire in a block of flats under construction in Peckham, South London. The four storey block, that was under construction, caught fire and set light to another block of flats, that was located across the road. This block was fully occupied and many of it’s residents were made homeless by the event.News reports on television showed dramatic pictures of the flames and contained interviews with many shaken & upset residents. It should be stressed however, that the fire started on a what was in effect a building site, with the fire quickly spreading to nearby buildings.
The cause of the fire is still be investigated and some people are now worried that the fire in the flats may be attributed to arson, the line of thought is that wooden buildings, particularly in built up areas such as cities are not safe. Of course, at any site where there is large scale timber construction, any fire whether started deliberately or accidentally, may prove to have disastrous consequences. In the case of building sites, sometimes fires can start all too easily because of the type of materials that are stored on the site and whilst having a partly constructed timber frame building, probably doesn’t help, the chances of a fire starting can be reduced by good on site risk management.
The use of timer in construction is becoming more widespread, in particular in blocks of flats. Flat Insurance companies when being asked to quote for building insurance, always enquire about the construction of the building. Blocks built of brick with concrete floors & stairs are in the main given cheaper insurance rates than a building that contains timber, that is a good indication that insurance companies consider, that from a risk point of view, a fire in a block of flats that has timber construction, is likely to cost a good deal more amount of money. If there is a fire at the premises, buildings with concrete floors fare much better at stopping the fire spread.
As recently as 2006, there was a serious fire in a timber framed block of flats that was under construction in north London, a massive 2500 people had to be evacuated as a result of this, there have also be recent fires at blocks in both Hatfield and Croydon. It’s purely by chance that no body was killed in these fires but many people are voicing concerns that a full investigation in to the use of timber in flats be undertaken before someone does lose their life. There is now a proposal underway in East London to build the tallest timber framed building, since the great fire of London, a fact which is concerning a number of people who live near the proposed site. Timber when used correctly, offers many benefits to the construction industry, however, the safety of residents and neighbours is of paramount importance and perhaps further investigation in to how fire in timber framed blocks of flats can be avoided or managed is required at this stage.
If you are looking for a quotation for insurance for your block, you must supply full risk details to ensure that your quotation is accurate. Details of the construction of the property will be required, this includes, the walls, floors and roofing material. Details of any fire prevention systems at the premises may also help you to obtain a cheaper insurance premium.