CE Safety, the health and safety training company, submitted Freedom of Information requests to UK Fire & Rescue Services to find out the number of fires reported in the construction industry and how many of those were caused by hot work.
The data suggested that there were 204 fires in buildings under construction caused by hot work in the UK in 2018/2019.
When it comes to fires in construction in England, there were 218 fires, 44 were caused by hot work.
The 5 locations with the highest numbers are London; 81 fires in the construction industry, Devon & Somerset; 27 fires, Merseyside; 19 fires, Lancashire; 18 and South Yorkshire 17 fires.
The information received from Fire & Rescue services across England suggested that Dorset & Wiltshire has the highest number of fires in the buildings under construction caused by hot work, 24. This is followed by East Sussex 7, London 4, and Derbyshire 3.
In total, there were 4 injuries across England.
According to figures from Fire and Rescue Service in South Wales, there were 3 fires in buildings under construction caused by hot work. Two incidents were caused by soldering and one by welding. There were no injuries reported.
The North Wales Fire & Rescue Service confirmed that there was 1 fire incident in a building under construction. There were no casualties or fatalities recorded. The fire was caused by industrial equipment (welding/cutting equipment).
The Mid and West Wales Fire & Rescue Service recorded 13 incidents related to ‘welding equipment’ within various property types.
The causes were also divided into: Careless handling – due to careless disposal, Combustible articles too close to a heat source (or fire), Natural occurrence, Negligent use of equipment or appliance (heat source).
No injuries were reported.
That is a total of 17 fires caused by hot work in Wales.
Furthermore, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service confirmed that there were 180 fires in the construction industry, an overwhelming 143 (79%) of which were the result of hot work.
These fires resulted in 21 casualties.
Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service has confirmed with CE Safety that they do not hold information on fires in buildings under construction.
Gary Ellis from CE Safety said: “A variety of industries, construction, in particular, may require hot work to be carried out in their premises as part of routine work activities. It is also frequently carried out as part of contractual work, which is common in construction.
“However, no matter who does it, they must know what kind of hazards hot work presents and how to prevent it from causing harm.”
For more information, go to www.cesafety.co.uk