Construction fires start easily and spread quickly. Here’s how to add fire detection and other plans to avoid the worst.
Construction sites are high-risk areas with more than their share of problems, including widespread theft and trespassing. They’re also literal hotspots for fires – which can cost companies materials, entire projects, and even lives – and that makes fire detection a must.
Both thieves and trespassers may start fires to cover their tracks, for fun, or simply cause harm. These scenarios aren’t the only ones to blame for blazes, however. Electrical failure, equipment malfunction, and other issues can all provide the first spark.
This guide will spotlight the fragile relationship between construction and combustion, plus demonstrate how a robust fire detection plan can help.
Some facts about onsite fires
Multiple dangers see buildings that are under construction or renovation in the construction sector hit with thousands of fires every year. Here’s what to know:
- Fires rely heavily on fuel and oxygen to get started and gain ground.
- Both factors are abundant on any outdoor construction site, especially those full of lumber and gasoline-powered vehicles or equipment.
- Metals are also always present in some form and provide a powerful means of heat conduction.
- Girders on fire are an easy way for flames to work their way upwards to ignite new levels and quickly bring down any load-bearing structure.
Sloppy worksite safety is a big contributor to onsite fires. Poorly located fuels, materials, and tools are accidents waiting to happen, as are other risky practices like inadequately stored trash, improper use of onsite cooking facilities or smoking outside of designated areas. Staying on top of equipment maintenance is also essential to ensure everything is performing up to code.
Site security is also important. Perimeters, gates, fences, and doors are often left vulnerable to criminals, which opens the door to arson. Arson is America’s leading cause of property damage, with more than half a million fires costing more than $2 billion annually.
The National Safety Council reminds contractors that construction sites are vulnerable to all types of fire – Classes A to D – and that fire-loss potential is much higher during construction than after completion. This makes fire detection, safety, and planning and training – alongside other safety standards and available training from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – an essential part of basic site safety policy.
How video surveillance can aid in fire prevention
Core practices combined with video cameras and state-of-the-art alarms make any project less likely to suffer fire-related harm. Mobile Video Guard’s team combines law enforcement experience and security expertise to make the right call about any potentially dangerous heat sources or unusual or suspicious activity. We do this by:
- Communicating directly with the site via voice and strobe lighting to warn off intruders
- Having a direct line to fire departments and law enforcement if the situation requires
- Providing fast, always-on action to guard your site, its contents, and its crew from accidents and criminals – especially during the crucial 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. window
Video footage can also provide an added layer of security by protecting employers from liability threats caused by fire or other factors, many of which can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Visual proof of what happened also limits project exploitation through employee fraud, revenge attacks, or being left high and dry when it comes to insurance payouts.
How the Ramtech WES3 can help
Fire alarms, evacuations, and facilitating medical treatment all become more manageable by buying or leasing the Ramtech WES3 system. Here’s what to know about it:
- Flexibility – These small mobile units can be affixed to any locations around your site free of the need for wiring and its limitations. They can also be used to create evacuation drills, allow managers to set fire alert levels, and to verify the severity of any alarms before unnecessarily evacuating a site and losing valuable productivity time.
- Reliability – The WES3’s multiple units work in tandem, but they can also be isolated for testing purposes. This is an important feature, since one weak link in the alarm chain could mean a serious fire taking place. Units have up to three years of battery life and don’t rely on any external power source, which means they’ll continue to work when other circuit-dependent alarms can fail.
- Accuracy – Ramtech’s advanced system allows the location of the fire to be pinpointed exactly, which can be invaluable in also locating anyone endangered or hurt or by one. This makes it faster and easier for customers to use the WES3 to alert medical response teams and provide valuable data to help them do their job.
- Rapid deployment – Lastly, the wireless WES3 system can be installed very quickly to follow your company wherever projects take you, and all without the disruptive and costly delays of adding wired alarms. No wires means they’re also immune to wire cutters – a go-to tool for trespassers and criminals who like to snip connections to silence any alarms.
These units are specifically designed by radio and electronics experts in tandem with construction companies around the world so your site can better detect heat, smoke, and fire. They also help you stay compliant with the NFPA and other fire safety codes for the industry and your local jurisdiction, meaning your fire detection plan adheres to local and national guidelines, as well.
Contact Mobile Video Guard’s experts about fire detection
Don’t let fire compound the many obstacles your construction project is already facing. The Mobile Video Guard team is experienced in providing customers across multiple sectors with surveillance advice and security solutions that work to protect them – and that includes fire detection.
We can help you create the surveillance strategy that fits the unique needs of your site. Our insight can provide peace of mind that you’re in the best position to prevent or verify any incident.
Contact Mobile Video Guard today and speak with an expert to learn more!