The purpose of this document is to establish policy and procedure regarding the use of open flame activity on construction sites. This may also be classified as “hot work.” The intention is to create a self-policing system of safe work practices that can be verified and will demonstrate to outside observers that the proper precautions were taken to reduce the frequency of fire . This concept will also establish a best management practice for work performed in a specific fashion. Definition – Open flame devices are defined as candles, torches, butane burners or any other flame producing device. The general use of this definition in model codes has more to do with events and activities that it does with construction. For example, candles on tables. Nonetheless, on construction sites there are scenarios in which open flames are produced. Giving those open flames separate from any fuel source is a number one priority of the fire protection system. Following are some guidelines that were actually derived from industry safety bulletins at the local level.
Compliance with Codes
All use, handling, storage and transportation of any bulk fuel, compressed gas cylinder and any other materials used to create any open flame shall always be conducted in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
Any personnel working with open flame should be dressed in appropriate clothing to protect them from any potential damage or injury. Depending on the hazards involved, clothing should consist of appropriate closed-toe footwear, long pants, and long- sleeve shirt made of 100% cotton or material which provides equal or greater protection PPE consideration must also be made for head, hand, I, year and respiratory protection. Spending on what hazard may be involved the individual might be required to use full fire turnout gear.
Intoxicating drugs, liquids and /or any other controlled substance should not be used by any person involved in open flame activities.
Attention to Detail
Personnel working with or around any open flame must be given sufficient time to safely perform the work(including the transporting, storing, creating and extinguishing of any and all open flame devices) while conducting such duties, personnel should not be rushed, interrupted or distracted from focusing on their work. Upon completion of all activities involving open flame should be a fire watch for a minimum of 30 minutes afterwards to detect hidden or smoldering fires.
It is not uncommon during the construction phase for built-in fire protection equipment to be impaired or restricted as a result of the construction process. Individuals responsible for the oversight of hot work and open flame should be particularly sensitive to any scenario in which fire protection equipment has been compromised. If conditions are not safe then open flames should be prohibited.
Smoking and the use of any smoking materials should be prohibited on the work site all of the time. violations of this policy should result in instant disciplinary action. This includes the exclusion of matches, lighters or any other device to light a smoking product. Signage- Readily visible signs prohibiting smoking and open flames shall be posted where a fire or explosion hazard exists. These signs warning against smoking and open flames shall be posted so they can be readily seen in areas or places where the hazards exist.