What are some leading causes of fire ignition for buildings under construction or renovation?

July 13, 2022

by Nils Deacon, Manager, Inspections and Rating Services

NFPA research provides valuable information and analysis of fire origin, and other details for a variety of fire and safety hazards. For fires in structures under construction or renovation, leading causes include electric ignition caused by failures in power equipment, and heat sources with inadequate clearances to combustibles.

The combustibles are often waste materials that are not properly secured. These include discarded wall and ceiling finishes produced during the construction process. Unattended equipment accidents also contribute to fire loss.

Hot work, such as cutting or welding, can be sources of ignition when done too close to unsecured combustible materials. NFPA 241 places emphasis on a fire watch being maintained during and 2 hours after hot work operations. The fire watch personnel should have no other responsibilities than fire safety on site.

DISCLAIMER: This information reflects the interpretation of MSO, Inc. with regard to NFPA Standards and Codes. It does not represent NFPA’s official position on the items discussed.


Construction debris and sources of ignition