Fire Prevention Precautions For Hot Work
- CSI Division:
- Division 1 - General Requirements
- Special Project Procedures
- Last Modified:
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Prior to inclusion in GSA’s library of procedures, documents are reviewed by one or more qualified preservation specialists for general consistency with the Secretary of Interior Standards for rehabilitating historic buildings as understood at the time the procedure is added to the library. All specifications require project-specific editing and professional judgement regarding the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers are to serve as a general guideline and do not constitute a federal endorsement or determination that a product or method is the best or most current alternative, remains available, or is compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards. The library of procedures is intended to serve as a resource, not a substitute, for specification development by a qualified preservation professional.
We’ve reviewed these procedures for general consistency with federal standards for rehabilitating historic buildings and provide them only as a reference. Specifications should only be applied under the guidance of a qualified preservation professional who can assess the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers serve as general guidelines and do not constitute a federal endorsement nor a determination that a product or method is the best alternative or compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards.
- The following safeguards shall be observed in performing hot work, such as welding, cutting, soldering, brazing, and other operations where open flames or implements utilizing heat are used.
1.02 QUALITY ASSURANCE
- Regulatory Requirements:
- The contractor shall ensure that operations involving the use of open-flame or electrical ARC equipment are not conducted until a GSA Form 1755; Permit for Welding, Cutting, and Burning has been completed and signed by the Buildings Manager each day such activity is to occur.
- Prior to commencing operations, a positive determination shall be made if it is impractical to conduct the hot work in a shop area or outside of the building. This determination shall be made by the Government Engineer, Buildings Manager, or responsible Government supervisor at the job site.
- Prior to operations, the job site shall be visited and suitable locations established for the portable equipment during actual operations and storage during non-working hours. The responsible supervisor for the Contractor and the Government representative (as designated in the preceding paragraph) shall confer and decide upon such locations with the Government representative's decision being final in event of disagreement.
- The Contractor shall notify the local Government Representative of the area of operations for each day and of all subsequent changes that occur. This is necessary to assure inspection of all areas by a Government representative.
- The Contractor shall notify the local Government representative of all locations where hot work is to be performed no later than the morning the work is to be performed.
- Prior to commencing operations, a positive determination shall be made that it is impractical to conduct the hot work in a shop area or outside of the building. This determination shall be made by the Government Engineer, Building Manager, or responsible Government supervisor at the job site.
- Before operations commence, the Contractor shall furnish personnel to serve as a fire watch (or watches) for location(s) where hot work is to be done. (One fire watcher may observe several locations in a relatively small contiguous area if approved by the Government representative.) Each fire watch shall have a Contractor-furnished, suitable type, fully charged, operable fire extinguisher. The Contractor is responsible that the fire watcher knows how to operate the fire extinguisher and how to turn on a fire alarm and/or summon the fire department.
- Check the opposite side of walls, floors, ceilings, or roofs before starting operations and take suitable precautions to minimize the hazard for a fire starting or communicating to the opposite side from operations
3.02 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
- Combustible Material:
- Hot work shall not be done in or near rooms or in areas where flammable liquids or explosive vapors are present or thought to be present. In the latter case, a combustible gas indicator (explosimeter) test shall be made to assure that the area is safe. The Contractor is responsible for arranging for such test and he shall bear such charges as may be incurred.
- Insofar as possible, the Contractor shall remove and keep the area free from all combustibles, i.e., rubbish, paper, waste, etc., within a twenty-five (25) foot radius from operations.
- If combustible material cannot be removed, the Contractor shall furnish fireproof blankets and cover such materials with them, insuring that no openings exist into which sparks can penetrate. At the direction of the Government representative, wood floors, walls, and ceiling shall be wet down thoroughly with water before, during, and after operations to afford adequate protection. NOTE: TAKE SPECIAL CARE NOT TO DAMAGE HISTORIC WOOD FABRIC DURING THIS PROCESS. CONSULT FIRE PROTECTION ENGINEER FOR TECHNICAL ADVICE AND RHPO ON HISTORIC PRESERVATION MATTERS BEFORE PERFORMING THIS WORK.
- Where possible, the Contractor shall furnish and use baffles of metal or gypsum board to prevent the spraying of sparks, hot slag, etc., into surrounding combustible material.
- Safety Measures:
- The Contractor shall prevent the extension of sparks and particles of hot metal through open windows, doors, holes, and cracks in floors, walls, ceilings, roofs, and the like.
- Where cylinders of gas are used in hot work, they shall be placed a safe distance from work. The Contractor shall check hoses and equipment for deterioration, malfunction, and leaks prior to starting operations. He shall provide suitable supports to prevent accidental overturning of cylinders. All cylinder control valves shall be shut off while the equipment is unattended. Acetylene cylinders shall be in an upright position while in use with the gas pressure regulator set at 15 psi or less.
- When hot work operations are completed or ended for the day, each location of the day's work shall be inspected by the supervisor representative of the Contractor not sooner than thirty (30) minutes after completion of operations to detect hidden or smoldering fires and to insure that proper housekeeping is maintained.
- Where sprinkler protection exists, it shall be maintained without interruption while operations are being performed. If operations are done quite close to automatic sprinkler heads, gypsum board sheets or damp cloth guards may be used to shield the individual heads temporarily.
- If any of the above safeguards are not employed, or are violated, the responsible Government supervisor may by verbal command followed by written notice, stop the work until compliance is obtained. Such stoppage shall not relieve the Contractor from performing his work within the contract period for the contract price.