Fire Safety On Construction Sites: 12 Tips And Techniques
Construction sites could easily be one of the highest risks for fire hazards. Therefore, fire
prevention must be one of the top safety priorities for any contractor.
Although various factors increase the potential risks of fire on construction sites, the good news
is that it can be prevented. Here are some 12 easy tips and techniques to help reduce the chance of fire hazards on any construction site:
1. Provide Adequate Extinguishers
Ensure that your construction site has enough fire extinguishers to prevent the spread of fires. Should an accidental fire start, a fire extinguisher can put it out if used correctly. Your fire extinguishers must be approved and regularly maintained by professionals who do fire extinguisher testing to ensure they always work perfectly. Additionally, they must be well labelled to ensure even a novice can use them.
2. No Unsanctioned Fires
As a fire prevention rule of thumb, don’t start a fire. This simple rule could help prevent fire from getting out of hand at a construction site. At times, concession workers may need to light up a fire for compelling reasons like keeping warm in the cold or burning some unwanted waste. But this could lead to trouble. Thus, never burn rubbish at the construction site. In addition, unsanctioned fires must be prohibited as these could quickly become hazardous.
3. Have A Fire Plan And Procedure
Always have a fire plan established. This fire plan should be part of the induction procedure for all your employees. Everyone who enters the construction site must know the safety plan in an emergency. Also, each fire extinguisher must be clearly labelled and accessible to avoid any casualties in case of a fire accident.
4. Keep The Site Clean
Fires need fuel to kindle and grow. Construction sites offer perfect fire igniters such as pallets, wooden offcuts, and other construction waste products. Ensure that your site is always clean to minimize the risk of fire accidents. Moreover, waste must be properly disposed of in trash cans and skips, and always avoid any rubbish build-up around your construction site.
5. Have A Waste Disposal Plan
To keep your site clean, ensure that you have planned for proper waste disposal. Begin by labelling your waste containers and placing them far away from flammable materials and buildings. If possible, have the trash area confined in a lockable space to avoid the risk of sabotage and arson. Lastly, have your rubbish routinely picked up by a professional company to avoid a build-up of hazardous trash.
6. Check Electricals
Electrical faults are another typical cause of fires on construction sites. To avoid fires caused by electrical faults, ensure that qualified electricians do all your installations. Additionally, have your electric equipment regularly checked and serviced to prevent damage and minimize risk. Also, avoid unnecessarily dangling wiring as this could cause mishaps.
7. Maintain The Compound
Construction compounds risk fire accidents due to heaters, cooking stoves, and flammable waste materials. Smoking is also another possible risk factor for construction compounds. Thus, always
ensure that the compound is kept clean. Set some safety rules like designated smoking areas and so forth. Make sure you have a responsible safety officer who regularly checks the compound.
8. Be Careful With Heaters
Because construction sites could be very cold, you may need to install some temporary heaters. This can, however, be a fire risk if installation is not done correctly. Therefore, you must ensure that any heating system is installed professionally to avoid accidents. Heating systems also have to be situated far from any flammable building materials.
9. Check Your Lights
Most construction lighting has high intensity and produces heat. This could be a fire hazard and should be a cause for concern. The best way to avoid any possible fire is to treat your lights like heaters. Ensure all the lighting is installed correctly away from any combustible material.
10. No Smoking Zones
Cigarette smoking has been said to lead to accidental fires due to negligence. A simple cigarette butt can cause an uncontrollable fire if not properly disposed of. To prevent this, you have to establish some designated smoking areas. It’s best to put clear anti-smoking signs in areas with flammable materials. As a deterrent measure, set some penalties for anyone who breaks the anti-smoking rules.
11. Conduct Regular Fire Checks
Most equipment used in construction sites produces heat which could be a fire risk. Welding machines and other hot equipment create flying flames and smouldering materials that could ignite explosions if not handled properly. To avoid such mishaps, ensure that fire checks are conducted now and then, especially during hot works.
12. Set Terms And Conditions For Hot Works
Ensure all the hot works on the construction site have set terms and conditions. Any contractor engaged in hot work must sign a contract stating all the rules. They also have to be well-vetted and qualified.
Your induction should focus on fire safety as part of your general safety and accident prevention. Try and have a fire safety awareness for the entire team and ensure compliance with all your health and safety measures.