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Top 5 Most Common Fire Deficiencies in the Construction Industry


Construction sites have special considerations when it comes to fire and life safety. Not only do they often feature buildings that are half-built with exposed wood and other combustible materials – they also often require hot work, temporary electrical measures and other hazards.

Because of this, it’s crucial for those in the construction industry to be aware of the most common deficiencies and what to do about them to not only protect your site, but also your workers.

Below, we’re breaking down some of the top deficiencies to look out for at your sites.

Hot work

Hot work is construction work that requires the use of heat and hot tools, such as welding, soldering and grinding. These activities all create heat, which in turn can create a fire risk – especially because items can stay hot for many hours and if left to smolder, they can ignite materials around them.

To help keep this work safe, implement a hot work permit system with a dedicated time to watch for fires and a 30-minute cool-down period, and assign a specific person with the task of managing fire prevention measures.

Flammable and combustible materials

There can be a variety of different flammable and combustible materials at construction sites. From flammable liquids to simply bare wood, the fire hazards can be endless. Make sure to store all these materials correctly, away from any heat and in a designated section of the construction site.

Be sure to limit risks further by keeping sources of heat like temporary heaters far away from areas with flammable materials. Additionally, limit the amount of these materials kept on site as much as you can.

Smoking and cooking

It may seem obvious, but smoking and cooking can be major sources of fires at construction sites; make sure all workers and subcontractors adhere to a strict “no smoking” and “no cooking” policy while at the work site. Provide a safe, designated area for smoking – away from the site – if necessary to get worker compliance. It’s very easy for a lit cigarette to cause a fire in a matter of moments.


One of the major causes of fires at construction sites is arson – fires that have been set intentionally. Construction sites can be tempting to vandals, and so it’s important to make sure you have proper security measures in place. These could include perimeter patrols, fences, cameras, lighting at night and more. When in doubt, work with a professional security company to patrol a site.

Temporary electrical and lighting

Construction sites often need temporary electrical and lighting measures so that contractors can do the work required – but these can be a fire risk. All of these systems should be installed in accordance with the electrical code standards and will need to be routinely inspected by a qualified professional. Additionally, these systems should only be installed by a trained electrician.

Construction sites have special risks and considerations when it comes to fire and life safety. Along with the risks outlined above, OSHA also requires that each job site have a specific fire prevention plan in place that includes measures like access to firefighting equipment, training for all employees in how to use fire prevention equipment, properly distributed portable fire extinguishers, an inspection program and more.

It can be a lot to consider – but we at CertaSite would love to help. Reach out to us today to see how we can manage the fire and life safety program for you, protecting your people and your property.

Tags: preferred protection, fire safety, deficiency, building safety, education