JCoP: Fire Prevention On Construction Sites
Ever since the London Grenfell disaster in 2017 which caused 72 fatalities due to flammable cladding, fire safety has been a key focus for the UK construction industry. New building regulations were put in place to prioritise fire safety, including tighter restrictions on materials and possible building layouts.
More recently, the use of timber frame materials has caused fires on construction sites themselves causing those in the industry to seek out methods for fire prevention.
What is JCoP?
In response to these events, the UK Fire Protection Association produced the Joint Code of Practice for fire prevention.
This is a comprehensive document that provides ‘best practice’ guidelines for fire safety in construction projects. These guidelines relate to the structures being built and the management of the working sites.
The best construction companies in the UK follow this document as if it were law to ensure fortified site safety, worker wellbeing, and integrity in their projects.
How To Prevent Fires On A Building Site
There are four key steps to preventing fires on a construction site:
Conduct Risk Assessments
A risk assessment is one of the most important steps to improving fire safety on construction sites as it’s a quick and convenient way to identify all hazards and potential dangers. You should conduct risk assessments regularly, including when designing the site and before site use.
Minimise The Hazards
Once you know what the main fire hazards are, take steps to minimise these. For example, ensure that electrical equipment and combustible materials are stored safely away from sources of ignition when not in use, and put up fire prevention tips in key areas around the site.
You should also consider the materials you use for site structures and avoid anything that could catch alight, such as timber frames. There are site accommodation hire options available that meet safety standards for permanent buildings to ensure employee welfare when working.
Plan Emergency Procedures
Even if you are taking measures to safeguard the site and your staff, in construction projects there will always be a risk of fire. Make sure to plan emergency procedures so you’re prepared if the worst does happen.
Identify a means of escape for all on-site areas and a place where employees can congregate in the event of a fire. Don’t forget to do the necessary training with your staff including regular fire tests to ensure that everyone knows how to follow the procedures correctly.
Assign A Fire Safety Manager
You won’t always be there to watch over workers, so it’s a good idea to assign a Fire Safety Manager who is responsible for championing fire safety on-site. They can ensure that your employees are taking all necessary precautions and following procedures as they should be.