Written by: Griffiths & Armour on: 14 Dec 2022
Fire Prevention on Construction Sites: New Edition of the Joint Code of Practice
The Fire Protection Association has recently published the 10th Edition of its Joint Code of Practice on the Protection from Fire of Construction Sites and Buildings Undergoing Renovation (JCOP). This replaces the previous edition published in October 2015. Whilst the scope of the JCOP covers projects with an original contract value above £2.5m, the general principles can be applied to any construction project.
There are a number of alterations and additions to the latest version of JCOP, but in summary, the main points are:
- There is a greater focus on the use of non-combustible building materials, both as part of the construction design, as well as temporary structures and materials.
- Temporary buildings must be constructed of non-combustible materials if they are to be located within 6 metres of the building under construction (or within 20 metres of a timber framed structure). Similar requirements apply to vertically stacked temporary buildings.
- The use of deep fat fryers in temporary buildings or accommodation must be strictly prohibited.
- Tighter controls on hot works have been introduced, such as: increased fire watches beyond 2 hours of hot work completion where a risk assessment identifies this; use of thermographic cameras to identify hot spots before, during and after hot works; only trained personnel to undertake hot works, including fire extinguisher training; and monthly inspection of permits to ensure compliance.
- A new section covering the charging and storage of electric vehicles has been introduced. This permits internal storage of electric vehicles only in 60-minute fire compartments with suitable fire detection and suppression. Charging of electric vehicles must take place in the open at least 10 metres from: the building under construction; temporary buildings; storage of combustible items; and hazardous installations such as LPG tanks.
- Within high-rise constructions, the requirement for horizontal fire compartmentation at minimum 10 floor intervals has been amended to 1-hour fire resistance from the previous 30-minute requirement.
- All buildings with a floor level over 18 metres must now be fitted with a firefighting shaft incorporating a rising main.
There are a number of additional changes covering areas such as fire system impairments, fire warden appointment and training, security guarding and CCTV systems.
Further information on Construction Project Property Risks is available via RMworks, the online risk management portal available to all Griffiths & Armour clients. If you have any questions about the contents of this article, please click below to submit your enquiry to Risk Management Director, Simon Stafford.