Risk of Fire Due to Bonfires and Arson on Construction Sites


Fires can be caused due to several reasons on a construction site and can pose to be a danger to the lives of the people present on the worksite and can also cause irreparable damage to the materials and assets present on the site. In this article, we will discuss how bonfires and arson can be fire risks on construction sites and how to ensure the security of the site.


You must avoid the burning of any rubbish or vegetation on the construction site and any burning should be permitted only in situations such as clearance of the worksite for road construction, etc.

Any site burning has environmental implications and hence in the case of any site burning, you must check with the environmental and other regulatory authorities before considering any site burning.

In the case that site burning is permitted, then you must take care that fires are lit only in an open site and far away from the worksite where there is no risk of fire to the adjoining structure, material, or storage areas.

Large bonfires can get out of control very easily, so you must limit the quantity that is burnt and that is permissible in an incinerator. You can use a proper incinerator or an oil drum that has been cleaned thoroughly to remove the entire flammable residue with proper ventilation holes for the purpose of controlled burning of the material. No fires must be left unattended until they are completely extinguished.

You should keep fire extinguishers and other equipment nearby in case the fire becomes uncontrollable and begins to spread. Check the material being burnt for hazardous items like aerosol cans, flammable substances and empty cylinders. You should not attempt to light fires on a windy day. Do not light bonfires in places where the smoke, flames and debris may affect any overhead electrical cables. Do not use petrol or any other accelerants to start or fuel the bonfire. Use paper or similar materials instead.

Arson and Site Security

Sometimes a fire may be started on the construction site either accidentally or deliberately by trespassers. Arson is a very big hazard and a risk on all construction sites. You should have sufficient security measures to restrict unauthorised entry into the worksite. You must ensure that there are no gaps in the fencing or hoarding around the worksite.

Whenever the worksite is closed, ensure that all flammable liquids, combustible materials, LPG, etc. are safely stored or removed from the site. Some construction sites, especially those in areas with known problems of arson and vandalism, with high fire loading or where protective fencing is not possible may be particularly exposed to arson. In these cases, you should provide additional security outside the perimeter fence.

You could have permanent security presence on the construction site or have regular security patrols. The worksite should be lit with security lighting. You should carry out liaison with the local police force for the security of your worksite and install CCTV cameras for round-the-clock monitoring of the site. Bull Products are able to provide a range of fire safety equipment including CCTV. Contact us for more information on 01432 806 806.

The security staff should be alert at all times and if they detect any fire, they must know what to do. Site security staff and site managers must also be aware of the possibility of fires due to arson and they must be vigilant at all times.

The security staff should also be trained in firefighting techniques to control any fires in case they do happen. In such a scenario, Cygnus fire protection systems can play a very important role in protecting your construction site in case of a fire due to arson or a bonfire raging out of control. Cygnus products are well-known for their reliability and can help you protect and safeguard your site as well as workers.