Construction sites are high-risk areas for fire breakouts due to the combination of ignition and fuel sources. A fire on a construction site can cause major damage to materials, delay project deadlines, and pose a serious threat to life. Here are 3 common causes of fires on construction sites:


Flammable materials


Problem: Most companies use flame retardant materials to avoid fire hazards. However, scaffolding, roof coverings and waste can fuel flames if a fire breaks out nearby. In addition, the presence of combustible fuels and sparks from electrical equipment can create a recipe for disaster.


Solution: Keeping the site clear is important. It is important that waste is stored in a safe, well-protected area away from ignition sources. All fuels should be kept away from electrical work, as sparks can travel a long way. Do not dispose of rubbish in a self-made bonfire, as it can quickly become unmanageable.


Deficiencies in fire protection measures


Problem: A lot of statistics show that when it comes to fire safety training courses, many companies tend to skip over the necessary education. This ultimately leads to gaps in training, blocked evacuation routes, incorrect fire extinguishers and more.


Solution: The key to limiting human error is compliance and training. Fire safety measures, guidelines, and standards must be adhered to by the site’s safety manager or designated ‘responsible person’. A comprehensive fire risk assessment should be conducted at the site, and all fire protection equipment should be regularly maintained.


Power sources


Problem: Electrical faults can occur on a construction site if the correct measures aren’t taken when removing old wires or installing new electrical fittings, as well as powering generators and cordless tools.


Solution: Quality control. In accordance with relevant regulations, all electrical installations must be thoroughly inspected and PAT tested. In terms of general housekeeping, employees must make sure that all power tools and sockets are turned off when not in use, and that any faulty equipment is removed immediately.