Features

Harnessing technology to enhance fire safety in construction

By on

Although fire can be a significant hazard during construction work, construction company Avondale Construction is deploying a range of innovative technology to minimise the risk of a blaze.


In the ever-evolving world of construction, safety remains a paramount concern. Among the myriad of safety considerations, fire safety stands out as a critical aspect that demands constant vigilance and innovative solutions. With the rapid advancements in technology, we are now equipped with a plethora of tools that can significantly enhance fire safety measures on construction sites.

This article delves into some of these technologies we use at Avondale Construction on our clients’ sites, their practical applications, and how they are revolutionising the way we approach fire safety in the construction industry.

Photograph: Avondale Construction

Wireless fire alarm systems: ensuring safety off the grid

Construction sites often evolve rapidly, with changing needs that require flexible and robust fire detection systems. Wireless fire alarm systems are designed to adapt with the build, providing a reliable solution that can be deployed wherever needed. These systems are easy to install and can be moved frequently, allowing for seamless integration with the site’s development.

Wireless fire alarm systems are not a new technology. They have been used in various industries, including construction, for several years. However, the features and capabilities of these systems have improved significantly over time. Modern wireless fire alarm systems are equipped with advanced heat and smoke detectors, providing an extra layer of safety on site.

Wireless fire alarm systems are a prime example of how technology can be tailored to the unique needs of a construction site. They provide a level of flexibility and adaptability that traditional wired systems simply cannot match. This makes them an ideal solution for construction sites, where the layout and structure can change rapidly.

The adaptability of these systems is a testament to the power of wireless technology in enhancing safety measures.

TeamWorkSmart: streamlining fire safety inspections

TeamWorkSmart is Avondale’s proprietary logistics management platform. It was originally designed to streamline our on-site logistics operations and improve efficiency, and our fire marshals are utilising this highly adaptable smartphone-based system to facilitate their fire point inspections and fire door checks on site.

Photograph: Avondale Construction

This application not only logs all actions for real-time compliance audits but also allows for offline functionality, ensuring that inspections and reports can be carried out regardless of the availability of a mobile signal.

The application’s customisability and ability to schedule inspections make it an invaluable tool for construction site managers. It allows them to focus on potential problems, armed with real-time data to compare performance across sites, contractors, and employees. This leads to more frequent safety inspections, making sites and staff safer.

The TeamWorkSmart application is a testament to how technology can simplify and streamline processes, making it easier for managers to ensure the safety of their sites. By automating routine tasks and providing real-time data, it allows managers to focus on what really matters – the safety of their workers and the site. This application is a shining example of how digital transformation can lead to tangible improvements in safety and efficiency.

Hot works site induction toolkit: managing hot works risks

Hot works activities pose significant risks on construction sites. The Hot Works Site Induction Toolkit, a resource provided by the RISCAuthority, is designed to manage these risks at the point of entry on a construction site. This software ensures that best practice risk control processes are understood by all individuals entering a site to conduct hot works, thereby mitigating potential hazards.

Nick Curran is managing director at Avondale Construction. Photograph: Avondale Construction

The Hot Works Site Induction Toolkit is a powerful example of how technology can be used to educate and inform. By ensuring that all workers are aware of the risks associated with hot works and the safety procedures that need to be followed, it helps to prevent accidents and improve overall site safety. This toolkit is a prime example of how digital tools can enhance safety education and compliance.

Thermal imaging camera attachments: enhancing hot works safety

Finally, thermal imaging camera attachments for smartphones have emerged as a game-changer in managing hot works on construction sites. These devices empower our fire marshals to swiftly detect and verify that all heat sources have been adequately cooled or extinguished after hot work activities. This is a crucial step in preventing potential fires, especially in environments where flammable materials may be present.

Thermal imaging camera attachments represent the cutting edge of technology in fire safety. They provide a level of detail and precision that was previously unattainable, allowing for more effective management of hot works and a significant reduction in the risk of fire. The use of this technology underscores the potential of mobile devices in enhancing safety measures.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the integration of technology into fire safety practices on construction sites has opened up new avenues for enhancing safety measures. From streamlining inspections with applications like TeamWorkSmart to managing hot works risks with commercially available thermal imaging, these technologies offer practical solutions that can significantly improve the safety of workers and the overall site.

As we continue to innovate and embrace these technological advancements, it’s clear that the future of fire safety in construction lies in harnessing the power of technology. The journey towards a safer construction industry is well underway, and we are excited to be part of this transformative journey.

Nick Curran is managing director of Avondale Construction Ltd

For more information see:

avondale-construction.co.uk

FEATURES


Man With Light Measurement Monitor BRE

Why good indoor environmental quality can enhance wellbeing

By Dr Andy Dengel, BRE on 10 June 2024

Research suggests good indoor environmental quality can enhance the health, wellbeing and productivity of a building’s occupants, so it’s essential for building owners to improve areas like indoor air quality, temperature, lighting and acoustics.



Hand Holding sustainability Graphic iStock Khanchit Khirisutchalual

Sustainable procurement: a win-win for business and the environment

By Dr Keith Whitehead C.Env on 04 June 2024

Implementing sustainable procurement not only protects the environment by conserving natural resources and reducing carbon emissions associated with the production, use and end-of-life of the product or service, it can also reap financial and reputational benefits for the purchasing company.



Diabetes Hypo Kit

The five business risks of the Type 2 diabetes epidemic

By Kate Walker, The Diabetes Safety Organisation on 30 May 2024

Diabetes can pose significant risks to health and safety and the health of those with the condition, so it’s essential to create a supportive working environment that allows staff to properly manage their diabetes without fear their work performance will be questioned.