Every year construction sites and buildings undergoing refurbishment work catch fire, which results in workers being injured, destroyed properties, and unexpected costs that some businesses might never recover from. This is why it is important that protective fire measures are put in place to protect a construction site.
Implement the right products
A crucial step to prevent a fire from spreading is implementing the correct safety products, with fire extinguishers being one of the most life-saving products that one can have on site. Fire extinguishers should be located at identified fire points around the site and should be appropriate to the nature of the potential fire:
- Wood, paper and cloth – water extinguisher
- Flammable liquids – dry powder or foam extinguisher
- Electrical – carbon dioxide (C02) extinguisher
Consider how to detect fires
Although a standalone alarm unit may be sufficient for a smaller site, as a construction site grows, there is a higher risk of a fire breaking out. By installing fire detection and wireless alarm systems, one can ensure workers are alerted in the event of such an incident.
Carry out thorough staff training
It is so important to ensure staff are confident when using any type of fire safety equipment – they need to know what risks to be aware of and what actions to take in the event of a fire. All new employees should also receive fire safety training.
Review and update your risk assessment
According to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO), a ‘responsible person’ must carry out, and keep up to date, a risk assessment and implement appropriate measures to minimise the risk to life and property from fire.
The HSE recommends following these five steps when carrying out the risk assessment:
- Identify hazards: consider how a fire could start and what could burn
- Identify those at risk: employees, contractors, visitors and anyone who is vulnerable
- Evaluation and action: consider the hazards and people identified in 1 and 2 and act to remove and reduce risk to protect people and premises
- Record, plan and train: keep a record of the risks and action taken. Make a clear plan for fire safety and ensure that people understand what they need to do in the event of such an incident
- Review: your assessment regularly and check it takes account of any changes on site.