Last week our industry commemorated Construction Safety Week. During this time, we reflect on one of the biggest risks to constructor, occupant, and abutter safety, the threat of a construction fire. The effects of a fire on a construction site are numerous and impact the lives of all the project’s stakeholders, from the property owner to the subcontractor to the responding fire personnel. Each week construction site fires occur on any number of projects, from new construction to building erection. Occurring during all different stages of construction and types of construction projects, including new building construction and existing building renovation and demolition. Each individual working on a project can make a positive impact by reducing the potential fire risk.
Construction sites are loaded with various hazardous operations that could result in a fire. To mitigate this risk, we should each ensure that our projects are equipped with an up to date NFPA 241, Construction Fire Safety Plan. This standard helps ensure that through owner involvement, construction personnel and building occupants are afforded a reasonable degree of safety. Just as important, the team should share the pre-fire response plan with the local responding fire companies. This will allow for more prompt access, fire attack, and occupant evacuation/rescue.
Lastly, your site must always be served by a fire protection program manager, regardless of the number of shifts being run. This individual is responsible for the appropriateness of the Plan and its real-time implementation on a continuous basis.
Construction Safety Week is highlighted each year during the first week of May, safety on the job site should be emphasized daily.