Fires on building sites regularly cause much damage and - because of the unfinished nature of the building - danger to the life of both workers and fire fighters. The presence of flammable waste, materials, solvents, hot work processes, incomplete electrical systems, vandalism and malicious acts make fire prevention a prime objective.
Author: Star Refrigeration
Fires on building sites regularly cause much damage and because of the unfinished nature of
the building, danger to life of both workers and fire fighters. The presence of flammable waste
materials, solvents, hot work processes, incomplete electrical systems, vandalism and
malicious acts make fire prevention a prime objective.
Precautions to reduce the risk to fire
1. Clear away rubbish and waste regulated to the designated areas
2. Never attempt to dispose of rubbish by burning it. Site ‘bonfires’ are illegal.
3. Electrical systems, including temporary supplies, must only be installed by a competent electrician and must be regularly maintained.
4. Site huts are vulnerable to fire because of; temporary heaters, smoking, intermittent occupation, clothes drying, waste packaging, old newspapers etc. Extra vigilance is therefore called for. Last man out – have a final quick look around.
5. Temporary heaters must be properly installed, safely positioned with guards fixed.
6. High-Intensity lights should not be covered or placed near combustible material. They must be securely fixed to prevent them falling over. Treat them as though they were heaters!
7. Do not smoke in areas of high fire risk or designated ‘no smoking’ areas. Elsewhere, dispose of matches and dog ends carefully.
Hot Work Sites
1. Hot Work is best controlled by a Permit to Work System to ensure all risks are adequately controlled.
2. Ensure surrounding area is free of combustible material. Non-removable items must be covered with heat-proof blankets. DO NOT underestimate how far radiant heat and sparks can travel. Remember to check floor ducts etc close to the work area.
3. Have suitable fire extinguishers readily to hand. Where circumstances make it necessary, one man should be on ‘fire watch’.
4. Cease ‘hot work’ well before site departure time and check the area at 30-minute intervals to make sure nothing is smouldering. Make a final check before leaving site.
5. Ensure you know your part in the site fire safety plan. Know where extinguishers are and make sure you know how to use them.
6. Make sure you know the evacuation procedure and where your escape route is!
For more information visit www.hse.gov.uk