There’s plenty of air, plenty of fuel, and plenty of ignition sources around construction sites–so everyone must be on the alert to prevent fire. Here are some ways to keep the job from going up in smoke. Did you know the probability of a building catching fire is greatest while it’s under construction?
Here are some good practices in fire prevention.
- Keep the site clean.
- Store combustible materials away from ignition sources.
- Report any possible fire hazards that you notice: open flames, sparks, and electrical equipment that appears to need repairs.
- On hot-work jobs or when open flame equipment is used., appoint a “fire watch” to keep an eye out during and at least a half hour after hot work is performed, be sure the fire watch can call for help in the event of an emergency, be sure combustibles are safe from ignition, have a fire extinguisher immediately available for welding, torch cutting and any work involving open flame or flammable liquids.
- Help protect temporary electric wiring from possible damage. In case of a fire in or near live electrical equipment, use a dry chemical extinguisher, and not water.
- Don’t smoke near flammables, in “No Smoking” areas, or while re-fueling equipment. Make sure cigarettes and matches are out.
- Always use approved safety cans or the original manufacturer’s container to store flammable liquids.
Keep these containers closed when not in use, and never store them near exits or passageways.
- Clean up any spills as soon as they occur. Put saturated rags into closed metal containers.
- Watch to see that canvas tarps, plastic sheeting or other flammable/combustible items don’t get close to space heaters. Take care to see that heaters aren’t accidentally tipped over.
- Know where the closest fire-protection equipment is located, and how to use it. Check to see that firefighting equipment is in the clear, in proper condition, and ready for instant use. If a fire does break out, call the fire department. If you are able to use a fire extinguisher, remember the PASS process: