Many features of building construction are closely related to fire safety. Although the modern types of construction generally contain much less combustible material than the old plank-on-heavy-timber or joisted brick-walled buildings, they collapse much sooner when exposed to fire temperature. Unprotected steelwork fails at relatively low temperatures. In cases requiring fire-resistant construction such as hazardous occupancies, vital occupancies such as storage rooms, transformer rooms, electrical substations, laboratories, high-value occupancies where any serious fire would cause excessive property damage and production loss, and in multistorey buildings, fire-resistant construction is not always used.
In the UK in 1990 some £3.5 billion of military equipment was held in stores which did not meet government fire protection standards.