What are some basic fire prevention strategies we can apply on the job site?

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he National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports there were an average of 3,840 construction fires each year between 2013 and 2017 alone, which caused 49 civilian injuries and $304 million in property damage annually. And while fire prevention has real impacts on the bottom line, even more importantly, knowing how to identify potential hazards can save lives. According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), fire or explosion accounted for 71 occupational fatalities in 2020, which is down from prior years, so continued diligence in preventing fires can help achieve zero fire fatalities on the job. Colder weather brings an increase in fire risks as we look for ways to keep warm, but basic fire prevention strategies can mitigate that risk. Daylight saving is a good biannual reminder to replace batteries in smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and any other battery-operated devices, if the building under construction has them installed and operational. Also check to make sure AED and fire extinguishers are in working order. According to the NFPA, the leading causes of fires in structures under construction are cooking equipment, electrical distribution and lighting equipment, and heating equipment. The NFPA has free fire safety resources, and our construction safety experts can audit your job site for this and other safety measures. Contact me or visit www.buildersassociation.com to learn more about making The Builders’ safety team part of your risk-mitigation team.

 

 

Meet the Expert

Miles Boyer is the Springfield Office Manager for The Builders' Association, which is a nonprofit commercial construction trade association serving hundreds of member companies that employ over 25,000 people in mid-America. Founded in 1887, The Builders’ Association has advanced the construction industry by delivering safety, craft and management training; employment, labor and government relations; and construction plans and technology tools.

Four service and training centers operate in Kansas City, Jefferson City and Springfield to serve both union and nonunion member companies and to aid collaboration by connecting passionate people and businesses, with a vision of improving lives through construction.

This is accomplished in several ways, including:

  • 3,000+ safety trainees annually. 

  • Community outreach. 

  • 1,500+ apprentices in cosponsored programs. 

  • Delivery of business education and professional development. 

  • Negotiation of 27 collective bargaining agreements. 

  • Coadministration and trustee-appointment authority for 28 fringe funds with over $3 billion in assets. 

  • Government relations services at the local and state level, as well as federally through AGC Kansas City, a chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America and the association’s sister organization.