As you may know, fires are very costly, especially in the construction industry. Fires are usually not caused by an accident but are caused by overlooking potential hazards in the work area that can contribute to a fire. We can all do our part by observing and obeying the rules and regulations to prevent fires. Below are general rules and good practices to prevent fires on the jobsite:
- Good housekeeping
- Disposing of paper trash, cardboard, and similar combustible materials in appropriate trash bins, and removing these items throughout the work day.
- Dispose flammable liquids (oils, gases, etc.) in approved containers. This includes rags that have oil, grease, or other flammable contents on them.
- Proper storage of aerosol cans and flammable liquids in flammable cabinets when not in use.
- Flames and Sparks
- Only use flame or spark producing tools in a designated area. These tasks usually required additional approval or permits from safety or management.
- Fire resistant shields and clothing, spark shields, and fire watches should be used when appropriate.
- Smoking is only allowed in designated areas. Smoking is prohibited inside of any building.
Three ingredients are needed to produce a fire, which is also known as the fire triangle.
- Heat– This can come from many sources such as welding, grinders, cigarette butts, or equipment being used to perform work.
- FUEL–This can be a liquid such as gas, or a solid such as cardboard.
- AIR– A critical source which we all depend on is oxygen, which is necessary to sustain a fire. One side of the triangle we cannot do much about.
When you know the ingredients to make a fire, it makes it easier to prevent and control a fire. When you find these three ingredients in the work environment, take action, a fire could be in the making.
Eliminating one of these three items can prevent or extinguish the fire.