Fire Prevention Technology for Infrastructure Development Project

Posted by: Pinaki Ray

Designation: HSE Manager

Date: April 26, 2023

Many fire-related high-risk activities, such as welding, cutting, grinding, others hot works, temporary electrical and lighting equipment etc., are involved in infrastructure development projects. In addition to the storage or use of highly flammable materials, both of which can be extremely hazardous and harm people, infrastructure, and the environment. In development projects, there are frequently fire incidents. Given the severity of the fire safety issues, it is necessary to implement the following fire prevention technology in order to prevent fire incidents.

1.Fire Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

The first step in fire prevention is to conduct a risk assessment prior to beginning the project to identify potential threats and triggers that might result in an emergency.

Hazards can include:

-Faulty electric connection and cables

-Overloaded or defective plug sockets

-Heating appliances

-Combustible materials and flammable liquids placed near heat sources

-Smoking and open flames

-Poor housekeeping

2.Fire Prevention Plan

A fire prevention plan must be implemented to prevent a fire from occurring in a development project. It describes the fuel sources (hazardous or other materials) on site that could initiate or contribute both to the spread of a fire, as well as the firefighting systems, such as fixed fire extinguishing systems and alarm systems, in place to control the ignition or spread of a fire.

The following points should be addressed in the fire prevention plan:

-A list of all major fire hazards, proper handling and storage procedures for hazardous materials, potential ignition sources and their control, and the type of fire protection equipment necessary to control each major hazard

-Procedures to control accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials

-Procedures for regular maintenance of safeguards installed on heat-producing equipment to prevent the accidental ignition of combustible materials

-The name or job title of employees responsible for maintaining equipment to prevent or control sources of ignition or fires

-The name or job title of employees responsible for the control of fuel source hazards

3.Fire Emergency Plan

Every development project should have a detailed Emergency Plan and it should include the required actions that employees should take if there is a fire. Also, included in the Emergency Plan should include information on how calls for fire and rescue services will be arranged.

The following points should be addressed in the Fire Emergency Plan:

-Evacuation protocol

-Who will be designated to call fire and rescue

-Where firefighting equipment is positioned

-How employees will be alerted to the fire

-Where escape routes will lead evacuees

-Additional responsibilities for assigned personnel

-The provisions that are in place for employees and visitors with special needs

-The final assembly location for evacuees

4.Fire Drill

Fire drills shall be conducted, in accordance with the Fire Emergency Plan, at least once every six months. The purpose of fire drills is to ensure that everyone knows how to exit safely as quickly as possible if a fire, smoke, carbon monoxide, or other emergency occurs, and to familiarize with the sound of the fire alarm. The results of fire drill need to be recorded as part of Fire Emergency Plan

5.Fire Safety Training 

Employee training is an important part of good fire prevention planning. It is detrimental to the safety of the staff and development project if all employees aren’t educated on potential fire hazards and safety protocols. A lack of knowledge is dangerous and can lead to casualties.

All employees should be trained in the following areas:

-Evacuation plans

-Alarm systems

-Reporting procedures for personnel

-Shutdown procedures

-Types of potential emergencies

6.Fire Fighting Equipment

Fire Fighting Equipment used to detect and prevent fire along with providing protection to natural resources, human beings, and other properties from fire. Depending on the type of fire and amount of risk, these equipment are divided into two categories: 1. Portable , 2. Fixed

A.Portable firefighting equipment

These types of firefighting equipment are used to deal with small fires that are detected as soon as the fire ignites. It serves the purpose of protection and prevention.

  • Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguisher is the essential equipment to extinguish early-stage fires and save lives in fire emergency situations. It is used to deal with small fires rather than fires that are out of control and would require the help of a fire brigade. To deal with different types of fire, extinguishers come with different types of extinguishing agents that are filled inside the cylinder.

ABC Fire Extinguishers: An ABC fire extinguisher is one of the multipurpose devices that can put out various classes of Fire. As the name suggests this type is effective for class A, B, and C fires.

BC Fire Extinguishers: BC fire extinguisher can put out class B fires involving flammable liquids, oil, solvents, grease, tars, lacquers, and oil best paints. This type is also effective for Class C fires, involving energized electrical equipment and gases.

CO2 Fire Extinguishers: The carbon dioxide variety is one of the cleanest extinguishers that doesn’t require any clean-up. CO2 fire extinguishers use carbon dioxide to remove oxygen from the fire which effectively suffocates it down. This type is also effective for Class C fires, involving energized electrical equipment and gases.

Water Fire Extinguishers: These extinguishers dispense a stream of water to extinguish fire. Water fire extinguisher is suitable for class A fires.

Foam Fire Extinguishers: The foam fire extinguishers are perfect for extinguishing the liquid fire of Class B.

  • Fire Blanket 

A fire blanket is used to extinguish incipient (starting) fires. It consists of a sheet of a fire-retardant material that is placed over a fire in order to smother it. The fire blanket is used to cut off the oxygen supply to the fire, thereby putting it out. The fire blanket must be sealed closely to a solid surface around the fire.

  • Fire Bucket

A fire bucket is a bucket that has been filled with water or sand and is used to put out fires. Fire buckets typically have the word “fire” stencilled on them and are painted a bright red colour. A low-tech approach to putting out small fires is to use fire buckets. The main benefits of fire buckets are that they are affordable, dependable, simple to use, and easily refillable.

B.Fixed firefighting equipment

These types of firefighting equipment are installed at places of higher risks or areas that are prone to catch fire easily. They are not movable and work only for the area where they are installed.

  • Fire Hydrant

In times of need, a fire hydrant system can supply a significant amount of water. To put out the fire, the firefighters plug the hose or pipe into the hydrant and turn the valve. Water can be thrown onto a fire directly from fire hydrants or filled up at fire hydrants to put out fires. Firefighters can put out out-of-control fires with the aid of the water’s pressure. These hydrants are only used by trained firefighters to prevent injuries due to the strong water pressure.

Automatic Sprinkler System

The sprinkler system has advanced significantly and is frequently considered the most reliable firefighting apparatus. It is composed of a sprinkler head and a water supply provided by a pipe. The sprinkler activates when a fire is detected and begins to sprinkle high-pressure water on the blaze.

These firefighting tools can now detect heat and spray water before a fire breaks out thanks to technological advancements. This has also increased demand for it in residential societies as well as in factories and commercial buildings. Sprinkler systems are primarily utilized to combat out-of-control fires.

  • Hose Reel System

The hose reel system is permanently connected to a water source to fight fires. It has an on/off valve, a hose guide, and a nozzle at the end of the hose. This kind of firefighting gear is primarily used to put out fires that a pressurized water supply can douse. In the end, the nozzle is used to regulate the water’s flow and direction.

  • Fire Alarm Control Panel

A fire alarm control panel is the controlling component of a fire alarm system. The panel receives information from devices designed to detect and report fires, monitors their operational integrity, and provides for automatic control of equipment, and transmission of information necessary to prepare the facility for fire based on a predetermined sequence. The panel may also supply electrical energy to operate any associated initiating device, notification appliance, control, transmitter, or relay. There are four basic types of panels: coded panels, conventional panels, addressable panels, and multiplex systems.

  • Emergency Exit Light

Emergency exit lights are designed to guide people to safety during an emergency. Emergency exit lights are a stand-alone system, which means they will stay lit during a power failure.  In the event of an emergency, exit lights allow for a safe retreat from danger.

  • Fire Door

A fire door is a special construction door that’s built to withstand high temperatures due to fire. The fire door helps to protect people in the building as well as prevent as much property damage as possible. The fire door operates when a fire is detected in the area. The door will close automatically when there’s a fire in the building or will operate if someone manually pushes a button. The purpose is to prevent the spread of fire within the building and protect individuals located within the property.

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