Hot Work and Fire Impairment
For further information please contact the Risk Management Helpdesk on 1300 660 827
Catholic organisations often employ contractors to complete works for them. Some of these works may incorporate hot work or fire impairment.
Hot work is any work that has the potential to generate heat, sparks or flames. It may include but is not limited to drilling, welding, soldering, cutting or grinding.
In contrast, fire impairment is the process of shutting off or impairing fire safety systems such as sprinklers, alarms and fire mains in order to complete works or where the actual fire systems are faulty and need repair.
Although hot work and fire impairment are distinct processes, they are both fire hazards and as such must be controlled in the interest of preventing property fires.
Every year, property fires are incurred as a result of poor hot work or fire impairment processes, potentially costing millions and putting lives at risk.
Unfortunately, it is not enough to assume contractors are controlling hot work and fire impairment risks, doing so can cost you your property, cost neighbours their properties and if people are injured as a result of the fire you may be in contravention of OHS laws.
Without the appropriate procedures and authorities in place, it can be easy to simply forget to turn the fire sprinklers back on after works or fail to conduct a fire watch after hot works are completed. The good news is you can manage the risks associated with hot work and fire impairment in most cases via the implementation of hot work and fire impairment permits. Hot work and fire impairment permits are in essence checklists that need to be completed and signed off at the beginning and end of works by the person completing the works and the supervisor of the works. They act as a reminder of the basic safety and risk management precautions that need to be considered and implemented before and after conducting hot work or impairing your fire systems.
Work practices like hot work and fire impairment permits are crucial in minimising the risk of fire in your organisation. By having dedicated policies, procedures and authorities in place, you can eliminate the guess work and reduce the margin for human error.
To access a copy of our hot work and fire impairment fact sheet and sample permits visit the Risk Management section of our website.
For further information on risk management e-mail us or call our Risk Management Helpdesk on 1300 660 827.
Disclaimer: This article is provided by Catholic Church Insurances Limited to its clients for informational purposes only and should not be used or considered as a comprehensive coverage of the topic discussed. As this information is of a general nature you should consider obtaining professional advice to ensure that your own circumstances are properly considered.