Fire Risk Assessment: Part 5

We gave you a brief insight into how you can reduce the hazard to people in the eventuality of a fire outbreak on your worksite in the previous part of this series besides reducing the risk of the occurrence of a fire. We dig deeper into the other two ways in which fire can spread on your worksite, conduction and radiation.

Conduction: Building materials like structural steel, ducting and pipes absorb the heat from the fire and spread it to surrounding areas. If there are any flammable items in the vicinity, they will catch fire when they touch the heated materials.

Radiation: Any material that is near a fire absorbs the heat and begins to burn. Heat from radiation from large fires can ignite buildings that are several meters away.

When fire occurs, thick smoke is produced which is very dangerous for people as it contains toxic gases. The smoke generated is black and very thick and obstructs vision, creates a problem in breathing and blocks escape routes. It is crucial that the means of escape and other fire precautions are in place to ensure that everyone on the premises can evacuate to safety.

The following things must be considered:

  • Fire breakout on a lower level which would cut out the means of escape for people located on upper levels of the building
  • Fire starting in areas used as a store and affecting dangerous items such as gas cylinders
  • Fire developing in areas that people need to go through to escape to safety
  • Fire spreading rapidly through the site due to presence of combustible materials
  • Smoke or fire spreading through the entire site via ventilation systems, shafts, ducts, etc.
  • Spread of fire because of poor fire precautions or incomplete structure
  • Fire spreading to neighbouring buildings
  • Spreading of smoke and fire through the building due to lack of fire doors or the fire doors left open

By following the above steps, you can reduce the risk and also identify the people who will be most at risk in case of a fire in a building or construction site.

Fire can also be suppressed and the work premises as well as people can be protected by installing a Cygnus fire alarm system on the construction site. Cygnus’ top-of-the-line products are known for their quality and reliability and can help to safeguard your worksite as well as your people.