Fires are among the most destructive disasters that can happen at a construction site. Their unpredictability and potential for irreversible damage to assets make fire safety a critical aspect of any construction project. A range of both state and federal laws and regulations ensure construction companies have a fully compliant and across-the-board fire protection system, including fully functioning automatic fire sprinklers, fire hydrants, fire extinguishers, an emergency intercom system, and an updated emergency plan. Construction companies must also regularly provide employees with comprehensive fire safety training to prevent fire-related injuries and fatalities onsite.
However, these standard building fire safety solutions can only do so much to mitigate and prevent fire. Sometimes, they are insufficient to handle fire risks or minimise potential damage. As a result, construction businesses worldwide are increasingly adopting digital fire safety software to upgrade their dedicated fire safety systems, which play a vital role in fire prevention and management. By digitising information, processes, audits records and communication channels, all workers and subcontractors can access updated construction fire safety protocols at the touch of a button, ensuring everyone knows the drill should a fire break out.
Why invest in cloud-based fire safety software
Managing information and documents such as fire risk assessment reports and evacuation plans has never been more efficient, thanks to construction cloud computing technology. Cloud-based fire safety software offers a comprehensive solution for managing risk in the construction industry. It helps construction companies to track and monitor employee activities, identify potential risks, and reduce costly incidents. This type of software is designed to stay up-to-date with safety regulations, provide real-time notifications to employees, and generate reports on trends or deficits. It can also be used to track safety training and certification, manage inspections, and provide guidance on creating safe work environments. With cloud-based construction safety software, companies are able to significantly reduce the risk of injury or property damage while ensuring compliance with industry standards. By utilizing this technology, construction businesses can improve operational efficiency and create a safer worksite.
Cloud-based fire safety management software like PlanRadar functions as the construction company’s virtual office where teams can communicate and collaborate to improve the job site’s readiness for fire. With everyone kept in the loop and updated with the latest regulation changes or company fire safety protocols, a construction company can prevent fire accidents, protect its personnel and assets, and secure its bottom line. Find out how PlanRadar can boost your construction site’s fire safety.
Uploading the fire safety plan into the cloud benefits contractors in a number of keyways, including:
1. Keep all your fire protection documents, information and records in one place
Data-driven construction involves regular submission and analysis of fire risk assessment reports and other fire protection documents. Before, when project management was purely paper-based, this took significant time to record, report and store manually. First, all forms had to be printed and delivered to the relevant personnel. Then, completed forms must be submitted physically, too. Not only is this method time-consuming, but it also runs the risk of losing, misplacing, or damaging physical copies of documents.
With cloud-based fire safety software, each team can complete regular fire safety assessments digitally, meaning quicker, more detailed, and more accurate inspections every time. And since the cloud is on the Internet, the concerned personnel can do this anytime and anywhere. The platform also allows them to seamlessly update their documents when necessary, which is unachievable with paper-based document management.
2. BIM Integration for quick assessment and response
When fire risks are detected, onsite safety and project personnel, including the safety officer, project manager, and maintenance team, must convene immediately to discuss response measures. Every minute wasted reduces their chance of preventing or putting out a fire. Back then, when fire safety and project management software was unavailable, it took time for the information about a fire risk or incident to reach the responsible people.
With data-driven digital solutions like fire safety software, decision-makers can convene immediately after the alarm sets off. And since this software can be integrated with the project’s BIM model, it’s easier for the team to pinpoint the location of the incident, measure the extent of damage, and accurately predict the fire’s direction in case it breaks out. This way, they can create the most effective firefighting strategy or prevent the fire from spreading further.
The best part is the response team are able to communicate in real time and connect with other concerned personnel with one invite to a chat or video call app also available in the software. Plus, additional personnel who aren’t physically present or available onsite can still contribute insights remotely and coordinate the best course of action.
3. More comprehensive fire safety reporting and documentation
Cloud software allows data-driven approaches to fire prevention and mitigation, thanks to its immense data programmability and storage capacity. No need to hold back when documenting the installation of fire protection systems and equipment or the fire incident as it unfolds. There’s more than enough space for all critical project documents in the fire safety software platform. And unlike paper-based documentation, you can capture images, videos, and audio to better support your reports.
Digital fire safety software helps to improve construction project reporting and insights in a number of ways. For example, it can offer real-time visibility into the progress of projects and provide the ability to track compliance with local regulations. It also enables users to quickly identify any risks or hazards that may be present, allowing them to respond swiftly and effectively. Moreover, it can provide an invaluable source of data that can be used to analyze and improve project performance. By utilizing the information gathered by digital fire safety software, construction teams are better able to identify potential gaps in safety standards or regulations and address them quickly. This allows them to ensure a high level of compliance and reduce the chances of serious incidents occurring on sites.
In addition, the data provided by digital fire safety software can be used to inform future projects and further improve safety standards across the industry. Digital fire safety software is an invaluable tool for improving construction project reporting and insights, allowing teams to stay ahead of any potential risks or issues that may arise.
4. Improve compliance with high-quality data
Handling construction documents is a challenging task. Every piece of paper must be deemed essential, even if, in reality, some aren’t useful and are only a waste of storage space. This makes traditional document management inefficient. There’s also a lengthy checklist of tools, equipment, vehicles, assemblies and areas to inspect regularly to ensure the job site complies with all fire safety standards throughout the project. Only with fire safety software can one sort droves of data quickly and eliminate redundancy, boosting focus on compliance-related documents and files.
What’s impressive about project management and fire safety software platforms is that they allow users to organise and present data concisely and intelligibly. And no matter where files are uploaded, users can share them with others immediately when necessary.
Digital technology is transforming the construction and facility management industry in ways we never thought possible decades ago. Once just an option, it is now an indispensable tool for making each construction project efficient and safe for workers and future occupants.
Fire accidents, which were frustratingly common in the past, are now more easily prevented and extinguished, thanks to the agility and precision fire safety software brings into the fire safety plan of any construction site, building or facility. In addition, data-driven solutions have continually proven effective in targeting the safety pain points of construction companies.
Looking to digitise your construction fire safety and safety management? Start a free PlanRadar 30-day trial or contact us today.