There are many fire hazards present on building and construction sites, with flammable liquids and hot work present on the day to day job. These hazards mean that workers and visitors are at high risk of injury and potential fires. A fire on a construction site can cause damage to the project itself, surrounding areas, and everyone within the vicinity, so it is vital that fire safety equipment is kept safely on site. Here are several pieces of equipment that should be on every work site:
Fire hazard risk assessment
The risk assessment on a construction site will identify hazards, risks, and who will be affected. It assesses the extent of the risks and measures to put in place to reduce or eliminate the risk of a fire to make the environment as safe as possible. Controlling the hazards in the environment is fundamental to decreasing the risk of fire, with the need of specific controlled measures implemented on site. Once these measures are put in place, this risk assessment must be kept safe and referred to when needed to ensure measures and safety standards are remaining high.
A safe place to store high priority items
All important documents and worksite keys, padlocks and cards are to be safely stored in a secure place so that management and employees who require access to these items are able to. A competent key system is needed regardless of the amount of people working on site, as security is paramount for everyone involved. Simple key cabinets, special security cabinets and outdoor key storage cabinets are available depending on company and site requirements. Key cabinets from Reece Enterprise are also fire resistant, so in the instance of a fire on site, the contents will remain safe and intact.
Sprinklers and extinguishers
Once a risk assessment is completed, the hazards that may cause a fire are sourced and the types of equipment that is required can be assembled. Smaller sites may only require single extinguishers, whereas high risk sites may need a sprinkler system and several extinguishers for employees to use if needed. It is important that the correct extinguishers are kept on site and fire equipment is stored in easily accessible places.
Fire alarms or fire warning systems are used to alert people of a fire on the site, allowing them to escape safely and quickly. Low risk sites may require one alarm or system in place, whereas larger, high-risk construction sites will need a comprehensive alarm system and detectors. It is important that all fire alarms and fire detectors are tested once a week.
Escape equipment, such as escape ladders, are of use to construction and building sites when working at height or in multi-story buildings. Before using escape equipment, an escape route should be established that is clearly marked and known to all workers and visitors.
In conclusion, fire safety on construction sites must be detailed due to the hazardous working environment. It is vital that all persons present on site have knowledge of how to react in the event of a fire with knowledge of how to use the fire safety equipment.