Fire safety is hugely important within any organisation but when it comes to construction sites, due to the high amount of flammable materials, hot work and of course the ever-changing nature of the game, fire safety is incredibly important. This means having a fire alarm system that’s not only effective but reliable and compliant with the current legislation. The laws that must be stuck to when it comes to construction site fire safety, include:
- The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (2005)
- The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations
- HSE Fire Safety Guidelines for Construction Sites (HSG168)
- The Fire Protection Association Joint Code of Practice
- BS5839-1 – Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings.
- The Structural Timber Association’s 16 Steps to Timber Frame Construction
Each and every one of these set out fire safety requirements in relation to their particular focus, with each one specifying that an appropriate system, must be used. These form a rather comprehensive set of best practice guidelines for the use and installation of fire safety within the construction industry specifically. Let’s take a closer look:
Complying with EN54 – all fire alarm products sold within the EU must have been tested and certified against Harmonised European standards and that standard is EN54. This is easy enough to find out simply by inquiring with the company you purchase the alarm from. While many believe they can run this check themselves, we usually advice getting a professional opinion for the simple fact that there are 31 parts that need to be certified against EN54. That’s a lot to check over, making the chance of missing one, much higher.
Check the CE marking – a fire alarm product must be marked with the CE stamp of approval for it to be sold in Europe. This mark lets you know that the entire product, each individual part complies with the appropriate European Directives on the date the product’s sold.
Last but not least…ask your supplier – as you can probably guess, construction site fire safety law is an incredibly complex and vast area in which to delve. When it comes to the alarm and detection systems you use however, there are really only two things to bear in mind. Make sure you ask for a declaration of performance for every type of unit within the system and always (ALWAYS) check the CE mark on it when purchasing. By doing this, you’ll ensure the system in use is correctly tested and fit for purpose under the most recent and stringent legislation.
Construction site fire safety is common sense. Your workers, materials and the end goal are what’s most important and in order to keep them safe, a working and might we add, compliant, smoke alarm system is what’s needed. Along with portable toilets of course – well we wouldn’t be euroloo if we didn’t mention those now would we?