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Fire Protection and Prevention for Construction


October 2003
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-101
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Self-Inspection Checklist

Optional Information
Optional Information
Name of school:
Date of inspection:
Career-Technical program/course/room:
Signature of inspector:


This checklist covers selected construction regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under 29 CFR 1926. It applies to temporary worksites associated with construction, alteration, demolition, and repair including painting and decorating. Fixed facilities, such as Career-Technical educational classrooms, are not covered by the construction regulations. This checklist covers fire protection and prevention for construction sites. The regulations cited apply only to private employers and their employees, unless adopted by a State agency and applied to other groups such as public employees. A yes answer to a question indicates that this portion of the inspection complies with the OSHA or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard, or with a nonregulatory recommendation.

General Requirements

  1. Is access to firefighting equipment maintained at all times at construction sites? [29 CFR 1926.150(a)(2)]
  2. Is firefighting equipment conspicuously located at construction sites? [29 CFR 1926.150(a)(3)]
  3. Is firefighting equipment periodically inspected and maintained in operating condition at construction sites? [29 CFR 1926.150(a)(4)]
  4. Is a fire extinguisher, rated not less than 2A, or a 55-gallon open drum of water with two fire pails provided for each 3,000 square feet of protected building area? [29 CFR 1926.150(c)(1)(i) and (ii)]
  5. Is the travel distance to the fire extinguisher or drum of water 100 feet or less? [29 CFR 1926.150(c)(1)(i)]Note: A 1/2-inch diameter garden-type hose line (100 feet in length or less and equipped with a nozzle) may be substituted for a 2A-rated fire extinguisher, provided it can discharge at least 5 gallons per minute with a minimum hose stream range of 30 feet horizontally. The garden-type hose lines must be mounted on conventional racks or reels and must be able to reach all points in the area. [29 CFR 1926.150(c)(1)(iii)]
  6. Are one or more fire extinguishers, rated not less than 2A, provided on each floor? [29 CFR 1926.150(c)(1)(iv)]
  7. At construction sites involving multistory buildings, is at least one fire extinguisher located adjacent to the stairway? [29 CFR 1926.150(c)(1)(iv)]
  8. Are fire extinguishers and water drums protected from freezing? [29 CFR 1926.150(c)(1)(v)]
  9. If more than 5 gallons of flammable or combustible liquids or 5 pounds of flammable gas are present, is a fire extinguisher, rated not less than 10B, provided within 50 feet? [29 CFR 1926.150(c)(1)(vi)]Note: This requirement does not apply to the integral fuel tanks of motor vehicles.
  10. Are portable fire extinguishers selected according to the classes of anticipated fires and size and degree of hazards? [29 CFR 1926.150(c)(1)(x) and N.J.A.C. 5:18-3.4(f)1

    Fire Prevention

  11. Is internal-combustion-engine-powered equipment located so that the exhausts are well away from combustible materials? [29 CFR 1926.151(a)(2)]
  12. When internal combustion engine exhausts are piped outside the building under construction, is a clearance of at least 6 inches maintained between such piping and combustible material? [29 CFR 1926.151(a)(2)]
  13. Is stability maintained when combustible materials are piled? Are piles lower than 20 feet? [29 CFR 1926.151(c)(1)]
  14. Are weeds and grass kept down and a regular procedure provided for the periodic cleanup of the entire area? [29 CFR 1926.151(c)(3)]
  15. Are outdoor combustible materials stored more than 10 feet from a building or structure? [29 CFR 1926.151(c)(5)]
  16. Are indoor materials stored so that they do not obstruct or adversely affect the means of exit? [29 CFR 1926.151(d)(1)]
  17. Are indoor materials stored, handled, and piled to minimize the spread of fire and permit convenient access for firefighting? [29 CFR 1926.151(d)(2),(3),(4)]
  18. Are indoor materials stored so that a clearance of at least 36 inches is maintained between the top level of stored materials and the sprinkler deflectors? [29 CFR 1926.151(d)(5)]
  19. Is proper clearance maintained around lights and heating units to prevent ignition of combustible materials? [29 CFR 1926.151 (d)(6)]
  20. Is a clearance of at least 24 inches maintained around the path of travel of fire doors, unless a barricade is provided? [29 CFR 1926.151 (d)(7)]
  21. Are materials stored more than 36 inches away from a fire door opening? [29 CFR 1926.151(d)(7)]

    Temporary Heating Devices

  22. Are temporary heating devices stored away from flammable and combustible materials? [29 CFR 1926.154(b)(1),(2),(3),(4)]


Approved: certified by EPA or certified by an EPA-approved organization. Approved recover/recycle machines meet the technical specifications of SAE Standard J-1990 and have the capacity to purify used refrigerant to SAE Standard J-1991 for safe and direct return to the air conditioner following repairs. Recover-only equipment removes the refrigerant from the A/C unit as specified by SAE Standard J-2209 and transfers it into a holding tank. A list of both types of approved equipment is available from EPA. Most certified equipment is labeled as design-certified to SAE standards. Technicians who repair or service motor vehicle air conditioners must be trained and certified by an EPA-approved organization. Training programs must cover use of recycling equipment in compliance with SAE Standard J-1989, the regulatory requirements, the importance of refrigerant containment, and the effects of ozone depletion. To be certified, technicians must pass a test demonstrating their knowledge in these areas. A list of approved testing programs is available from EPA.

Motor vehicle air conditioners (MVACs): mechanical vapor compression refrigeration equipment used to cool the driver’s or passenger’s compartment of any motor vehicle. This definition does not encompass the hermetically sealed refrigeration systems used on motor vehicles for refrigerated cargo and the air conditioning systems on passenger buses using HCFC-22 refrigerant.

Proper procedures: using equipment following Recommend service procedure for containment of R-12 (CFC-12) in Appendix A of the regulations 40 CFR Subpart B, 82.30 to 82.42. In addition, this means operating the equipment according to the manufacturer’s guide to operation and maintenance and using only the controlled substance for which the machine is designed. For equipment that extracts and recycles refrigerant, proper procedures means to recycle refrigerant before it is returned to a motor vehicle air conditioner. For equipment that only recovers refrigerant, proper procedures means recycling the refrigerant on site or sending the refrigerant off site for reclamation. Refrigerant from reclamation facilities that is used for recharging motor vehicle air conditioners must be at or above the standard of purity developed by the Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI 700-88) [available at 4301 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 425, Arlington, Virginia 22203] in effect as of November 15, 1990. Refrigerant may be recycled off site only if the refrigerant is extracted using recover-only equipment, and is subsequently recycled off site by a person that owns the recover-only equipment and owns or operates the establishment at which the refrigerant was extracted. Approved equipment must be used to extract refrigerant before any service is performed during which discharge of refrigerant from the motor vehicle air conditioner can reasonably be expected. Intentionally venting or disposing of refrigerant to the atmosphere is an improper use of equipment. [82.32(e)]

Repair equipment certification: a signed statement by the owner of the equipment used to recycle or recover refrigerant that includes: (a) the name of the purchaser of any EPA approved equipment used to recycle or recover refrigerant; (b) the address of the establishment where the equipment will be located; (c) the manufacturer name and equipment model number, the date of manufacture, and the serial number of the equipment; (d) a statement that the equipment will be properly used in servicing motor vehicle air conditioners; (e) a statement that each teacher authorized to teach service is properly trained and certified for repairing and servicing MVAC; and (f) a signature of the owner of the equipment or other responsible officer. This certification must be sent to MVACs Recycling Program Manager, Stratospheric Ozone Protection Branch (6202-J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street, SW., Washington, DC 20460. [40 CFR 82.42]