Construction Site Safety - Arson
Many health and safety courses will cover fire risks from the perspective of actions taken by workers, such as carelessness with items like blowtorches or using faulty or damaged electrical equipment which causes a spark near flammable material. However, it may be the case that a fire on a construction site actually is started deliberately whilst nobody is present on site.
The effects of arson - the deliberate starting of a fire - can be devastating. If there is nobody present on site, although it means they cannot be injured or killed, it also means that there is nobody there to tackle the fire. Whilst a small fire started accidentally may be easily extinguished by a worker using equipment provided such as fire extinguishers, a small fire left untreated can quickly turn into a blazing inferno which destroys the whole project through burning from the flames or due to smoke damage. Not only can it destroy structures on site, but it can also put nearby buildings at risk if the fire spreads beyond the site boundaries or causes a large explosion.
Managers and the operatives of a construction site need to take steps to prevent arson, which basically comes down to preventing unauthorised access to the site when nobody is present, which is usually overnight. This can include putting up secure perimeter fencing around the site and possibly employing a security guard or guards to patrol the site. As well as preventing fires through arson, these steps can also help prevent the theft of expensive tools and equipment from the site when nobody is there.
Measures such as clearing away flammable material which is no longer required and introducing fire doors as soon as possible can help to limit the damage caused by a fire which is started deliberately as it will slow down the spread of the fire and give the emergency services more time to put out the fire and save as much of the building project as possible.