Fire Protection on Construction Sites

Originally published 01/24/2018

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.

Fire Extinguishers

  • 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.

Download the recording form here.

Fire Protection Program

The primary objectives of a construction site Fire Protection Program are to:

  • prevent fires from starting
  • detect, rapidly control and promptly extinguish fires that do occur
  • ensure that fires will not prevent personnel evacuation or hinder emergency personnel access

A good Fire Protection Program will:

  • Be Jobsite Specific
    • While many parts of the plan may be used over and over again, the plan should be tailored for the specific hazards associated with each jobsite.
  • Identify possible fire ignition sources and establish guidelines to minimize the danger. Some typical construction site ignition sources include:
    • welding operations
    • cutting operations
    • hot mix asphalt equipment
    • smoking
    • electrical sources

Guidelines should include requiring appropriate fire-extinguishing equipment to be immediately available and not allowing cutting or welding operations to be located in close proximity to fuel sources.

  • Identify fuel sources and establish guidelines to minimize the danger. Typical fuel sources include:
    • trash piles
    • pallets
    • fuel supplies
    • gas cylinders
    • chemicals and solvents
    • combustible metals

Guidelines should include locating and marking storage areas, frequent inspections, establishing trash disposal schedules or guidelines, limiting “smoking-allowed” areas and clearly posting “No Smoking” signs.

  • Conspicuously identify and locate all fire-fighting equipment.
    • Fire-fighting equipment should be accessible at all times.
    • Fire-fighting equipment should be conspicuously identified.
    • All jobsite personnel, including vendors, should know where the fire-fighting equipment is located.
  • Develop and promote good housekeeping guidelines.
    • Locate all fuel-source storage areas away from ignition sources, taking into account wind direction, water availability, etc.
    • Schedule regular pickup of waste/trash.
    • Dispose of oily/greasy rags properly.
    • Clean up fuel spills quickly and properly.
    • Maintain accessibility to fire-fighting equipment.
  • Provide for regular, documented inspection and maintenance of fire-fighting equipment.
    • Schedule and document regular inspections of all fire-fighting equipment.
    • Schedule and document regular inspections of housekeeping efforts, storage areas, trash collection areas, fire-fighting equipment accessibility, evacuation and access routes, etc.
  • Provide for the training of all jobsite personnel.
    • Make sure that all jobsite personnel are trained and familiar with the jobsite’s “Fire Protection Program.”

Download the recording form here.