The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM)
Construction sites pose a very real fire risk. In fact, every year, there are hundreds of fires on constructions sites, meaning the lives of the workers and the public are put at significant risk. On top of that, property is destroyed and the industry faces disruption and unexpected cost implications.
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 set out responsibilities concerning fire safety, as well as identifying the factors which must be considered when introducing measures for ongoing fire safety.
The legislation states that whoever is in charge of the construction site must carry out a valid risk assessment in order to be able to:
- Identify the risks on the site
- Consider who will be affected in the event of a construction site fire
- Assess the extent of the risks
- Identify measures to reduce, or ultimately, to remove the risk
- Introduce the required measures
There are a number of hazards presents on any construction site. The two areas where the site management team can exercise some control are ignition sources and fuel sources, as detailed below:
- Ignition sources can include electrical faults, hot working (eg: welding), smoking (although this is often prohibited on site), lighting, portable heaters, arson and lightning.
- Fuel hazards can include building components (eg: wood), flammable gases and liquids and waste materials.
Fire Risk Assessment and Emergency Plan
As with business premises, whoever is in control of the construction site is required by law to carry out a fire risk assessment. Again, this is an ongoing process and will relate to each phase of the construction and will include an emergency plan which will:
- Detail individuals’ duties in the event of a fire
- Ensure there are sufficient emergency routes and exists and that they are kept clear of obstruction and, where necessary, emergency lightning is provided
- All exit routes must be clearly signposted
- Fire detection and alarm systems must be installed
- Suitable fire-fighting equipment must be provided
Fire Warning Systems and Fire Fighting Equipment
Fire warning systems obviously depend on the size of the site. For instance, on the very smallest sites, simply shouting “FIRE” may suffice. However, as constructions sites get larger, fire alams will be necessary and these should be tested at least once a week.
Again, the equipment required will depend on the size of the site. However, whatever equipment is required, it is important that:
- You have chosen the correct fire extinguishers
- Any fire equipment is close to work areas and easily accessible
- All fire equipment is serviced and in good working order
- Everyone on site is trained in basic fire-fighting techniques
How we can help
We are experienced fire safety specialists with an in-depth knowledge of the risks associated with construction sites. As such, we are able to assist you with every aspect of your construction fire safety plan.
From undertaking and reviewing construction site-based fire risk assessments to providing expert advice on the range of potential ignition and combustible hazards, we have extensive experience in construction site fire safety across Cumbria and Lancashire, and further afield.
Construction Site Fire Safety Reports
We know just how important it is that you know your responsibilities, that the risk of fire on your site is minimised and that everyone working on the site is fully informed when it comes to dealing with a fire emergency in the event that one happens.
We will provide you with sound, practical advice, which is tailored specifically to your requirements, is easy to follow and is presented in a clear, concise report.