Fire can ravage your expensive construction equipment within minutes. With all the chemicals and materials used in construction, fires can become uncontrollable. It will cause serious damage to property and may even result in casualties. You have to know what to do in case of fire accidents to avoid these kinds of disasters.
Construction sites have their share of hazards, from falling objects, electrical problems and injuries. However, fire prevention is often put on the sidelines. If you’re caught in the middle of a construction site fire without a plan, here’s what you need to do:
Set off the fire alarm
The moment you discover a fire, you should set off the nearest fire alarm right away. This is to alert the entire site to the hazard.
All workers and employees in the construction site should be aware of the sound of a fire alarm. You should also discuss evacuation procedures for the next step.
Evacuate as fast as possible
Once the fire alarm is sounding off, you should vacate the area right away. Keep doorways and corridors clear so others can pass through easily.
Moreover, you should touch doorknobs gently to check if it’s hot. If so, it’s a sign that the other side is already engulfed in flames. Take this as a sign of fire danger, and you must seek another way out.
Call the fire department
Once you’re in a safe spot, you should call the local fire department immediately. You need to get the fire contained as soon as possible. Make sure that you provide the construction site address properly.
Use the nearby fire extinguishers
All construction site workers should also know how to use a fire extinguisher. This can help contain a small fire before it spreads into a larger area. All construction sites need to have fire extinguishers as part of fire code compliance.
To use a fire extinguisher, you need to pull the pin to break the seal. Next, you should point the nozzle in the direction of the fire. Lastly, squeeze the lever at the top of the tank to release the extinguisher. You should target the base of the fire in a sweeping motion.
Stay close to the ground
If smoke has already occupied an enclosed location, you must stay low to the floor. Hot air and smoke rise, so standing will just increase your risk of breathing smoke and losing consciousness.
You can crawl your way out of the building to reach safety. Most importantly, you should know the exit points of the construction site.
Stay in a safe area
While waiting for the firefighters, you must stay in a safe place away from the fire. You should also wait for further instructions to avoid injuries on the site.
The company should also take the fire incident as a wake-up call for training. The contractor should also observe fire safety measures to avoid the same thing from happening again.
Knowing what to do during a construction site fire can save lives. You should never assume a ringing fire alarm as a mere test unless you’re informed ahead. With enough precautions and knowledge, everyone will come out of a fire unscathed. This is something that contractors should also include in their project plan.