PFM 21 4 - Page 24



NEWS
health & safety
Bull’s Guide to Effective Fire Safety Awareness
T
he HSE estimates that there
are 11 construction fires every
day, which can cost the
industry over £1 million each day.
According to The Regulatory Reform
(Fire Safety) Order 2005, employers
are legally required to provide
information, instruction and awareness
to employees about fire precautions in
the workplace.
The compliance team at Bull Products,
a manufacturer of life-saving fire
protection equipment, shares its guide
for fire safety awareness and those
all-important points to cover with your
employees.
1. The common causes of a fire
Many construction sites play
host to numerous examples of
the three elements required to
start a blaze: a source of
ignition, a source of oxygen,
and a source of fuel.
Fires in these particular
environments can cause
damage to materials, delay
projects and put workers’ lives
at risk.
Although many construction
companies now utilise flame
retardant materials, there are
still certain scaffold or roof
coverings that are particularly
hazardous and can cause
greater damage. Therefore, it
is important that the common
causes of a fire, along with the
dangers highlighted in your
site risk assessment, are
clearly communicated to
workers.
2. Good housekeeping
Following good housekeeping
is crucial to fire prevention
therefore your fire safety
awareness should cover the
key hazards that workers
need to be aware of. This
includes keeping heating and
electrical equipment clean,
using and storing chemicals
safely and clearing clutter
which contributes to fires such
as paper, aerosols and
flammable liquids.
24
3. The use of fire protection
equipment and prevention
The correct use of fire protection
equipment is crucial and could
mean the difference between
life and death.
Fire alarms, extinguishers,
blankets and signage are all
vital products to have on site. It
is important that workers are
trained on how to use the
equipment and know which
piece of equipment to use to
reduce the risk on site.
5. Emergency evacuation plan
in the event of a fire
Fire and smoke spread fast and
could leave people trapped in
dangerous,
inescapable
locations if an evacuation plan
is not in place.
A
fire
evacuation
strategy ensures employees
and fire wardens are aware of
what actions they should take if
they discover a fire.
According to HSE, quick and
effective action may help to
ease the situation and reduce
the consequences. However, in
emergencies people are more
likely to respond reliably if they:
are well trained and
competent
take part in regular and
realistic practice
have clearly agreed,
recorded
and
rehearsed
plans,
actions
and
responsibilities.
4. Choosing and using a fire
extinguisher
According to our recent survey,
more than 38% of workers are
using the wrong fire extinguisher
on an electrical fire, while 10%
would use a foam extinguisher
to put out an electrical fire.
One of the most important
pieces of fire safety equipment
you can have on site is a fire
extinguisher but using the wrong
fire extinguisher can not only
maximise the spread of a fire, it For more information, contact Bull on
371
170
or
visit
can cause major damage to a 01432
site and equipment, thus costing www.bullproducts.co.uk
companies millions of pounds to
Reader Reply: 214024
repair the damage.

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