Construction Site Fires in Texas
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According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there are more than 4,800 construction site fires every year, causing approximately $35 million in property loss. That's why federal regulations dictate that fire extinguishers must be located within a short distance at every point on a construction site.
At minimum, there ought to be 1 fire extinguisher for every 3,000-foot area on a single floor (even more for multilevel projects or projects involving certain types of flammable material). Regulations stipulate that there should be no point on a construction site where someone is further than 100 feet from a fire extinguisher.
Construction fires are likely to cause more damage than residential fires because they tend to have little protection in the form of smoke detectors or sprinklers. As a result, workers, firefighters, and even the general public can be put in danger. Common injuries sustained during a construction fire include smoke inhalation and burns.
What causes fires on construction sites?
- Vandalism and Other Criminal Activity – Construction sites without proper fencing, cameras, and other security measures are more likely to be the target of vandalism resulting in a fire.
- Smoking – Many employees smoke on the job, including construction workers. With lots of heavy equipment and fuel in the construction area, a cigarette can easily trigger a fire.
- Heaters – Workers often use space heaters when working in colder temperatures. Unattended heaters or those placed near combustible items can also result in a fire.
- Cooking – Construction workers often prepare meals right on the job site using items such as hot plates, coffee machines, and even power tools, which can all lead to fires.
- Electrical – Fires caused by shoddy, exposed, or faulty wiring.
Construction site fires are ultimately the responsibility of the property owner or the employer. Property owners and construction companies are legally obligated to mitigate fire hazards. Because the causes of fires are largely known, almost any construction site fire is preventable. If you suffered burns, lung damage, or other injuries as a result of a fire on the job, call our Houston construction site fire attorneys to hear your legal and financial options.