Coffee Break Bulletin

Fire prevention at buildings under renovation or construction

Posted: March 19, 2019

building under renovation

Buildings under construction or renovation are at their most vulnerable and weakest condition. Accumulation of waste combustibles, limited access, minimal water supply and hazardous operations increase the challenge. Add to this the effects of firefighting operations, increased water weight, weakened metal and support structures, and hidden hot spots, and you have a formula for disaster waiting to happen.

This Coffee Break Bulletin was originally published in 2010 and bears repeating.

The 2010 bulletin honored nine Boston, Massachusetts, firefighters who lost their lives while overhauling a hotel under renovation. Today we remember two York, Pennsylvania, firefighters — Zachary Anthony and Ivan Flanscha — who were killed in 2018 during overhaul operations on a large structure under renovation.

Here are a few prevention tips when dealing with buildings under renovation or construction:

Create a risk assessment and action plan

Check structural plans and fire protection features

Be aware of hazardous materials

Action step to prevent fires at buildings under renovation or construction

For more information, refer to National Fire Protection Association 1, Fire Code Chapter 16, or International Code Council's International Fire Code® Chapter 14.

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