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Are wood floor properties unsuitable for fire risk areas?

Developments in engineered wood have seen this material increasingly used in new homes and commercial buildings, but are buildings with a high timber content a fire risk?

As global temperatures rise, more wildfires have occurred, especially in California and Australia. Wood is known as a combustible material, so it would appear to be common sense not to build new homes from timber or to install wood flooring in properties located in high fire risk locations.

According to Nate Berg, writing on The Fast Company website, research has shown that engineered wood and cross-laminated timber have wood layers, which will quickly char in a fire, but can burn for 90 minutes until they cause the building to collapse. Single-layer wood takes 17 minutes to cause a collapse. These findings show that engineered wood is more fireproof than solid wood, but all homes made from wood can be a fire risk.

Timber is a versatile and renewable material for buildings. New technology is being developed to make timber more fire-resistant so that more wood buildings can safely be constructed.

In the UK, most buildings are made from brick or concrete, so are not a high fire risk. Flooring, whether it is carpet, laminate, vinyl or wood, is combustible and will catch fire in a fierce blaze.

Fortunately, homes with wood flooring in Cheshire are not located in high fire risk areas. There is no reason to change the flooring to make the home more fire-resistant.

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