A fire on a construction site can result in serious injuries and loss of supplies, equipment and even lives. All employees need to be familiar with the jobsite’s fire protection program – who to contact, what to do, the various types of fire extinguishers and their locations throughout the jobsite. Employees should be trained in the use and limitations of fire extinguishers to ensure they are used effectively when needed. The information provided below covers some basic fire protection requirements.
General Fire Protection Guidelines
- Develop a “fire protection program” to be followed throughout all phases of the construction project.
- Train all employees on the jobsite on the jobsite’s fire protection program.
- Train all employees in how to use a portable fire extinguisher.
- Fire extinguishers are classified by the type of material that is in flames and the media necessary to extinguish the flames.
- Fire Extinguisher Class Type of Fire
A Wood, paper, ordinary trash
B Flammable liquids (gasoline, oil, grease, solvents, paints, etc.)
C Energized electrical equipment
D Combustible metals
- Fire extinguishers must be kept in good working condition. Inspect, test and provide preventive maintenance to ensure that fire extinguishers function properly when needed.
- Maintain access to all fire-fighting equipment at all times.
- Conspicuously locate all fire-fighting equipment.
- Periodically inspect fire-fighting equipment, with supporting documentation; defective equipment shall be immediately replaced.
- Perform and document an annual maintenance check on all portable fire extinguishers.
Flammables and Combustible Liquids
- A fire extinguisher is required on all service/fueling trucks.
- Workers should be trained on handling flammables and combustible liquids.
- Locate all waste piles or dumpsters in an area clear of any type of ignition source.
- Do not expose waste piles or dumpsters to elevated welding or cutting.