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What are the main fire risks on a construction site

Fire Risks on a Construction Site

You don’t need us to tell you that construction sites are hazardous places. The potential for injury is enormous. Putting site managers under serious pressure to get things right and ensure the highest safety standards. Part of that is understanding and preparing for the risk of fire.

In this post, we’ll be talking you through the five main construction site fire risks. And how to avoid them.

 

Understanding the Fire Risks on a Construction Site

Arson

Every year since 2015, there have been in excess of 100 deliberate fires set on UK construction sites. Between 2021 and 2022, the total reached 139. That’s more than any other cause. Construction sites seem to be a magnet for arsonists. And it can be really difficult to address this issue.

Prevention: The best ways to protect your construction site against arson are to enhance security and surveillance. And to ensure that you have all of the relevant fire extinguishers on site.

 

Cooking

The problem with cooking on a construction site is that there are so many flammable items around. Which means that a single spark from a poorly placed grill can result in site-wide damage.

Prevention: If cooking is to be permitted on a construction site, it must always be in a designated area and on provided, safety-checked equipment. Class A (solids) and Class F (wet chemical) fire extinguishers should always be present.

 

Power sources

Where there is electricity, there will always be the risk of fire. Whether you’re powering generators, fitting electrics, or boiling a kettle, there is the potential for a range of faults to ignite a fire.

Prevention: It is a legal requirement that all electrical equipment used on construction sites be regularly PAT tested. That’s why site staff must not bring their own cooking equipment to work. You should also keep powder or CO2 fire extinguishers within easy reach of electrical equipment.

 

Flammable materials

Flammable materials are everywhere on construction sites. Insulation, fuel, chemical solvents, are all highly combustible. Wood and roof coverings can feed the flames. And electrical equipment can ignite them. So, precautions must be taken.

Prevention: Keeping your site as clear and organised as possible is the best way to manage the risk of flammable materials. You should also ensure that your fuels and electrical equipment are kept as far away from your designated waste area as possible.

 

Flawed fire protection

Behind arson, accidents are the second most common reason for construction site fires. There were 93 incidents between 2021 and 2022. Accidents are typically caused flawed fire protection standards.

Prevention: The best way to address flawed fire protection is to ensure that all team members have adequate fire safety training. To appoint a fire marshal. To conduct a comprehensive fire risk assessment on a regular basis. And to provide suitable fire extinguishers.

 

1st Class Fire Protection is an industry-leading fire protection company. Serving customers throughout Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, and the surrounding areas. Our highly experienced team can support your construction business with fire safety training, fire risk assessments and in depth knowledge of fire protection systems for construction. Get in touch to find out more about how we could support your business.

 

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