Fire safety is paramount to all sectors of work; however, construction sites are extremely high-risk environments, where there are plenty of flammable materials to accelerate a fire’s spread. No matter how large, or small, a construction site is, fire safety measures must be factored in to, ultimately, keep all the contractors safe.
The HSE has reported that construction sites and buildings undergoing refurbishment see a number of serious fires that could be avoided with the right fire safety measures and planning. Not only do fires cause a risk to life, but they also can be extremely expensive for developers and construction firms. Projects will be pushed back, slowing timeframes and interrupting the project manager’s scheduling. For some projects, it is financially difficult to survive the damage and setback of an extensive fire.
All in all, the importance of fire safety cannot be stressed enough. With suitable measures in place, it is possible to reduce the amount of damage a fire could do, should the worst-case scenario happen. Read on to find out our top four ways to improve the fire safety of your construction site.
Improve Fire Safety On Your Construction Sites
Prioritising your construction site’s health and safety should be at the forefront of all developers and project managers. But, how can fire protection standards be improved and implemented on construction sites? Due to the severity of the risk, it is possible to be overwhelmed especially when assessing a large-scale construction site.
However, there are four steps you can take to identify and install thorough fire safety measures across your site. Let’s look into these in more detail below.
4 Steps To Ensure Fire Safety On Construction Sites
To rest assured your construction site meets all the necessary safety requirements, follow these four steps to be confident your site has covered all its bases.
1. Carry Out A Fire Risk Assessment
It all starts with a fire risk assessment so you can be confident that the measures you implement are addressing the risks that are present on your site. Conducting a fire risk assessment is the most effective way of evaluating the entire construction site for all its fire risks.
A fire risk assessment is a legal responsibility and must be carried out by a responsible person. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that an employer, landowner, landlord, occupier or anyone else who has control of a premise, including building managers, is responsible for the fire safety of a non-domestic building. Where multiple people fall under this responsibility, it is their job to work together to carry out the necessary checks and updates.
Once a responsible person has been identified and appointed, the fire risk assessment must be carried out consisting of five crucial steps:
- Identify your construction site’s hazards – including sources of ignition, potential fuel and oxygen for a fire.
- Assess who is at risk – you are accountable for everyone who is on your site, from building contractors to those who work individually in cranes, as well as third party contractors such as security guards.
- Evaluate the identified risks – investigate ways how you can reduce the chance of each risk occurring, can flammable materials be substituted? If not, how can you make them safer?
- Record your findings – ensure everything is documented, including the identified risks and all the measures you are implementing to reduce the hazard. These records will help to produce an emergency plan.
- Review – once all the risks have been noted, you then need to consider who your fire safety measures will be monitored. Remember, as your construction site progresses and enters into new stages of development, your fire risks will also change. For each alteration, a new risk assessment must be completed.
2. Implement and Improve Fire Safety Equipment
Once all the fire hazards have been identified on your construction site, you can put into action your measures for controlling, reducing or eliminating the risk. With all the necessary fire safety equipment in place, including the correct types of fire extinguishers at all risk points, it is worth double-checking that your efforts have taken into account a suitable warning and escape system. For example, all replaceable fire escape routes are planned well in advance.
Wireless Fire Alarms And Construction Sites
Fire alarms are an effective way to alert everyone on site about the outbreak of a fire, giving them time to take action and escape before the fire becomes life-threatening. The alarm signal should be audible across the whole site, and with most construction sites yet to be connected to mains electricity, you will need to install your own system attached to a generator. However, adding additional wires into the mix increases other health and safety risks on-site. This is one of the 7 reasons why wireless alarms are great for construction sites
When you are choosing the right fire detection and warning system for your construction site, a reliable, effective and temporary fire alarm system is highly recommended. Some of the things worth considering are the scale of the project and the sustainability and cost of the fire alarm system. Want to know more? Here are 5 reasons why temporary fire alarms are great for construction sites.
3. Training and Education
The next step is to take the time to educate all workers and staff on-site about the construction site fire safety measures that have been put in place. It is crucial that everyone knows what to do and where to go in the event a fire breaks out, allowing them to get to safety avoiding panic and confusion.
Fire safety training should include showing the workers their nearest fire evacuation routes, and the signage that has been installed to highlight these exits. It is also important to point out where fire protection equipment can be accessed. For construction sites, workers should be able to identify different types of fire and which fire extinguishers to use.
When people first come onto the site, they must be informed of the hazards surrounding their job and what to watch out for. It is also good practice to ensure they know who their point of contact is in the event of a fire. And, of course, conducting a fire drill is always an efficient way to guarantee the measures that are in place are effective.
4. Consider Maintenance Of Fire Safety Equipment
With all your fire safety measures and equipment in place and everyone on site aware of the processes, it is now time to consider the maintenance of your fire safety equipment. How frequently should you test your fire detection and alarm systems and are there any requirements that influence the storage of your fire equipment? It is paramount that these factors have been investigated and a testing and maintenance plan is put in place.
Your Wireless Fire Alarms Experts for Construction
At Evacuator Site Alarms, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of construction site fire safety equipment and technology. And, consequently, are constantly developing our innovative products to offer the highest quality wireless fire alarm systems for construction sites.
As the leading British manufacturer of wireless fire alarms, we specialise in creating temporary fire detection systems for construction sites of all sizes. Our range of Synergy products offers wireless alarm systems that can operate across multiple zones, with multiple alarm devices within each zone. This system allows workers to be able to hear and react to the fire alarm wherever they are on site.
If you would like additional information about a suitable wireless fire alarm system for your site, please contact our expert team on 0330 135 5337 or drop us an email at email@example.com. Let us help your construction site stay protected 24/7.