How do you keep premises safe while carrying out hot works?
Article publish date: Wednesday 10 January 2018
Our figures show that approximately 10% of commercial fires are caused by hot works activities.
What are hot works?
Common hot work processes include:
- Gas and electric welding and cutting equipment
- Blow lamps and blow torches
- Electric or gas hot air guns, heaters or blowers
- Bitumen and tar boilers
- Brazing and soldering.
Tasks such as grinding and drilling may also be considered hot works where flammable or combustible materials are present in the vicinity.
How do I prevent fires from hot works?
- Use alternative methods to doing the job that don’t require the use of heat - for example cold cutting techniques.
- Undertake hot works in a dedicated area away from combustible materials.
- Use a permit for all hot works – a sample permit can be found here.
- Make sure staff issuing and signing off permits are adequately trained and authorised.
- If hot works have to be undertaken within the premises rather than in a dedicated area, make sure the area is checked for combustible materials and they’re either removed or suitably protected before the hot work starts.
- Think about how sparks or other flaming/smouldering materials could spread to other areas through voids, ducts or air gaps.
- Have appropriate numbers and types of fire extinguishers available.
- Make sure that all hot work equipment, particularly gas bottles, tar boilers and associated equipment, is properly maintained and in a good state of repair.
- Gas bottles need to be appropriately stored when in use.
- Gas bottles should preferably be removed from the premises overnight, if they have to stay on site for a number of days, make appropriate and safe arrangements for their storage.
- Ensure that staff and contractors carrying out hot works are properly trained, both in the work itself and any emergency procedures.
- Hot work equipment shouldn’t be left unattended when lit or hot.
- Make sure there’s a suitable ‘watch’ period during and after hot works have been completed – at least a minimum of 1 hour continuous immediately on completion, with intermittent checks (every 10-15 mins) for up to 2-3 hours thereafter – subject to an appropriate risk assessment.
For more information have a look at our Aviva Loss Prevention Standard Guide.
If you’d like more information or assistance visit Aviva Risk Management Solutions or contact us at
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