Fire Prevention For Contractor's Equipment
Equipment fires can delay a project and result in penalties or nullified contracts
Fire has caused severe losses in the construction industry and damaged valuable construction equipment. The need to repair or replace damaged equipment may lead to delayed contract completion. This can result in either penalties or nullified contracts for the failure to complete work on schedule.
It is essential that management recognizes the importance and need to establish a loss control program to help prevent fire losses for your high-value equipment. This program cannot be successful without your support and active participation.
Here are tips to control preventable fire losses
- Ensure water and supplies to fight fires are available early in the project.
- Provide access for emergency equipment to the site.
- Train employees in basic firefighting procedures
- Notify local police and fire departments of your job site location and request increased patrol activity.
- Provide a reliable watchmen service.
- Post emergency telephone numbers near the site telephone.
- Provide proper fire extinguishers for on-site construction equipment.
- Keep the main fuel supply away from the work areas, stored in approved tanks and located on level ground.
- Properly mount approved fire extinguishers, suitable for flammable liquid fires.
- Park, shut down and cool all equipment prior to fueling.
- Eliminate all ignition sources, such as smoking and open flames. Post warning signs.
- Use approved pumps or UL-listed safety containers to transfer fuels.
- A continuous ground should be maintained between the pump nozzle and the equipment filler pipe.
- Do not store reserve fuel on equipment, unless it is in approved fuel tanks.
- Clean up fuel spills immediately and use noncombustible absorbing compounds.
- Use “flame resistant” hydraulic fluids, as possible, rather than the combustible types.
- Protect the entire hydraulic systems, including reservoirs, pumps and distribution lines, against external damage.
- Establish a daily procedure to inspect hydraulic lines and components for defects.
- Protect high-value special equipment with a fixed extinguishing system.
- Store equipment not in use in the open. Maintain adequate separation from other equipment, buildings, yard storage and fueling areas.
- Do not allow brush and other debris to accumulate under or around equipment.
Maintenance and repair
- Have a preventive maintenance program in effect and keep repair records current.
- Keep the equipment repair area located away from work, storage and fueling areas.
- Replace and repair worn or damaged electrical wiring, cables, fuel or hydraulic lines immediately.
- Clean equipment on a regular basis.
- Do not conduct welding and cutting in areas where combustible storage or flammable vapors are present.
- Test and service fixed and portable fire extinguishing equipment, as recommended by the manufacturer.