This chapter provides an overall description of the strategy for delivering fire safety in timber buildings. As in the design of all buildings, the goals are to provide life safety for occupants, safe access for firefighters and protection of affected property. It is essential to control the severity and duration of any accidental fire and prevent it from spreading elsewhere in the building. An important design objective for timber buildings is to control the burning or charring of exposed timber or protected timber, because this can add to the fuel load, and it will reduce the load capacity of structural timber members due to loss of cross-section. Many of the topics introduced here are expanded on in the following chapters.