Fire Risks and Temporary Buildings
A lot of fire safety information is available concerning permanent places of work, for example regarding the situating of emergency exits, evacuation assembly points etc, however consideration also needs to be given to temporary workplaces and sites which are not permanent in nature, but where fire safety is no less important.
In actual fact, these temporary buildings are usually even more likely to catch fire or create a danger to health in some way. This is because unlike a permanent structure which is made out of inflammable bricks and glass, a temporary structure is likely to be constructed from cheaper and lighter material such as wood or a canvas marquee which will burn easily if it were to catch fire. Because the structure is only temporary, the owners or managers may not have spent money on fire fighting equipment such as fire extinguishers because they feel it will be a waste as they will be surplus to requirements once the structure is taken down. This means that if a fire were to break out, there would be nothing to tackle the blaze with before it gets out of control and poses a much greater danger to the health and safety of those in the vicinity.
A suitable fire risk assessment needs to be performed by a competent person in order to assess the potential risks from fire. This should also take into consideration factors which may be overlooked such as the location of water supplies with which to fight a fire and the distance and ease of access for the fire brigade if they need to be called. For example, can a large fire engine truck get along the muddy and narrow country lane where the event is being held?
The ease with which fires can start and the devastation they can cause mean that fire safety is a topic which is included in the syllabus of numerous health and safety courses and qualifications. As well as specific fire safety courses such as NEBOSH Fire Certificate courses it is also given a lot of time on qualifications such as the NEBOSH General Certificate and the construction site safety SMSTS and SSSTS certificates.