Insurer Zurich Is warning of the dangers of hot working in non-domestic refurbishment and construction projects having seen the cost of claims rise to £250 million in the past 3 years. They would like to see contractors adopt a voluntary system of training, with companies licensed to supervise or carry out hot work, such as welding, grinding and roofing. A similar scheme in Scandinavia reduced hot work fires to less than 5%.
Zurich are encouraging contractors to use hand-held thermal imaging devices to identify hot spots before they can ignite and to provide evidence that fire watches are taking place, further strengthening existing hot working procedures.
Home Office figures suggest that 28% of construction fires are down to hot work and other heat sources.