Fire Safety And Resistance

Fire safety involves prevention, detection, containment and evacuation; requiring prevention of the ignition of combustible materials by controlling either the source of heat, reducing the combustibility of the materials or providing protective barriers. This involves proper design and detailing, insulation or construction and maintenance of the building and its components.

Timber and wood-based materials comprise mainly cellulose and lignin, which are combustible and will burn if exposed to an ignition source under suitable conditions. But this does not mean that due to its combustibility timber is an unacceptable material for construction use. Often the opposite is true. Due to its good thermal insulation properties, when timber burns a layer of char is created, which helps to protect and maintain the strength and structural integrity of the wood inside. This is why timber

Table 1.20 Use classes and possible biological organisms*

Use classes

Definition of service situation (location of timber component)

Exposure to wetting during service life

Biological organisms

Fungi Beetle' Termite Marine borers

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