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Protect your construction site from the perils of winter

A LEADING North American wireless fire safety solutions specialist has warned construction bosses to keep fire safety front of mind — after several people were injured in a spate of fire outbreaks in Brooklyn, New York.

A fire outbreak can happen at any time, but it is well known that the perils of winter weather can increase the risk of fire on construction sites, according to James Pecz, sales director at Ramtech North America. James, said: “News of fire outbreaks on construction sites in Brooklyn, including a recent incident on Fourth Avenue, which was the second major blaze in the neighbourhood in less than a week, is a stark reminder to construction bosses right across North America, to check fire safety procedures and review the evacuation technology onsite. This is especially important as the weather gets colder.

“Icy temperatures expose a lot of issues, from cracked pipes to increased flammability of hazardous materials. What’s more, even basic comms devices, such as airhorns, which you’d expect to work under any set of conditions, are rendered useless in the cold. Therefore, it’s back to basics – crosscheck itineraries, walk the floor and always keep account of all materials and personnel onsite.” To protect construction sites, Ramtech is encouraging site managers to adopt a technology-first approach pointing to innovative wireless and connected technology. This includes systems that can add value by automatically detecting and confirming the exact location of excess heat and smoke on construction projects, both minimising risk and forming an early warning detection system.

James added: “The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) continue to issue guidance to the construction industry in a bid to decrease fire incidents. The new NFPA 241 2022 standard – an updated set of rules that cover stricter measures around site communication, housekeeping and fire protocols – will be key to this. To help meet these standards, wireless fire and evacuation systems are placing the power at site manager’s fingertips, including WES3, – an EN54-25 compliant connected device that can seamlessly integrate into cloud-based platforms, such as REACT, for real-time monitoring.”

Talking about the benefits, James continued: “WES3 units placed at strategic points across the site are the best way to ensure that everyone onsite is aware of an emergency alert. Being wireless allows the system to function independently of cables or hardwiring, another concern for sites that may not have power yet. Using wireless fire safety evacuation systems, that can then also connect to REACT and alert offsite monitoring centres such as fire departments as well as access control and CCTV systems, gives an up-to-the-minute emergency response system.”

James concluded: “Once a fire begins, time is your worst enemy. Early detection is the key to getting the fire department onsite in time to eliminate the fire. A few air horns and fire extinguishers may not be enough to mitigate a fire before it gets out of control. Having an emergency alert and evacuation system in place can therefore save lives.”

For more information on Ramtech’s solutions, please get in touch either by phone on +44 (0)115 957 8282, by email to solutions@ramtechglobal.com or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.