Fire prevention on construction sites and in tunnels

Mobile plants working in the construction industry, both above and underground, pose a risk of fire that not only affects the machines, but also operations and the safety of personnel.

Demanding working conditions and non-stop production schedules put huge pressure on equipment. Large amounts of flammable liquids, such as diesel, oils, and hydraulic fluids, coupled with hot manifolds and engine bays, means the risk of mobile plant fire is ever present.

In the UK, Health & Safety in tunnelling within the construction industry is covered by the British Standard (BS) 6164:2019, which includes recommendations and guidance regarding plant and equipment fire protection and safety in tunnels.

  • Rapid and reliable fire detection

    Rapid and reliable fire detection

    We use electronic Linear Heat Detection technology to minimise damage and downtime.

  • Robust systems

    Robust systems

    Our systems are designed to withstand the construction and tunnelling environments.

  • Industry specialist

    Industry specialist

    With 25 years of experience, we understand the specific challenges in the industry.

Why install mobile plant fire protection on construction sites?

Large amounts of hydraulic oil and diesel, coupled with superheated components such as turbochargers and exhaust manifolds, make mobile plant a common cause of fire in construction and tunnelling.

In tunnel construction, confined spaces and reduced exit routes can lead to catastrophic consequences in the event of a fire. One of the main concerns of a fire underground is the generation of highly toxic gases and combustion products.

Fire suppression systems installed in plant and equipment protect the machine operator, equipment, and facilities against the risk of fire. Systems tailored specifically for fire protection on construction sites can suppress the fire before it causes significant damage to machines, lessening disruption to operations and minimising repair costs. However, not all systems in the market offer the same level of fire protection and safety in tunnels and on construction sites, since design parameters and capabilities vary significantly from system to system.

BS 6164:2019 and fire suppression in tunnelling

Compliance with tunnelling safety regulations is vital. Clause 13 of BS 6164:2019 contains guidance regarding plant and equipment fire protection and safety in tunnels. It refers to the protection of both mobile and static equipment, including specialised tunnel plant intended for underground use and surface equipment that can be taken underground.

The ultimate fire prevention on construction sites

At Ardent, we understand the consequences of equipment such as excavators and dump trucks being at standstill. We work with construction and tunnelling companies to ensure that their production-critical equipment is protected against the risk of fire 24/7. Whatever the scale of operations, we install, service, and maintain reliable fire suppression systems to any fleet size.

We have years of experience in fire protection on construction sites, providing fire suppression systems for equipment in both surface and underground construction. We’re used to working on inaccessible sites, and we know how to deal with fires in confined spaces - our systems are tailored for installation to compact underground machines.

The Ardent mobile plant fire suppression system is designed and tested to withstand the harsh operating conditions found in construction and tunnelling - we test our systems to the highest global standards for shock and vibration, using electronic Linear Heat Detection (LHD) to provide rapid and reliable fire detection. This detection technology offers the best protection against false discharges commonly seen in other systems, ensuring thorough fire protection on construction sites.

Fires on fixed equipment such as electrical cabinets, generators, and transformers can also result in downtime and costly repairs. Our fire suppression for electrical equipment provides cost-effective and reliable protection, and the same level of service and support as our mobile plant systems. Fire suppression for this type of static equipment is also covered in BS 6164:2019.

Learn more about fire suppression systems

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Service and support for fire protection in construction

At Ardent, we understand the impact of machine downtime on your operations and productivity. That's why it’s not only our systems that are always ready to react to fire, but our dedicated team is equally ready to respond to callouts within a matter of hours. Our systems are powered by a team who listens, understands construction company’s needs, and fits seamlessly into operations to provide the highest service standards in the industry.

Some construction and tunnelling equipment we protect:

  • Tunnel boring machines (TBMs)
  • Roadheaders
  • Excavators
  • Dump trucks
  • Locomotives
  • Concrete pumps
  • Paving machines
  • Access platforms
  • Electrical cabinets
  • Generators

Got a question about fire protection on construction sites?

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Related Content

BS 6164:2019 – Fire Suppression for Tunnelling

BS 6164:2019 – Fire Suppression for Tunnelling

This blog post aims to help anyone with an interest or responsibility for the protection of plant and equipment used in tunnelling to understand the key principles behind the current generation of fire suppression systems.