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Fire Prevention on Construction Sites – Joint Code of Practice 9th edition

LPS1207 LPS 1215 Certification and Flame Retardancy Certification

Every year, there are hundreds of fires on construction sites and in buildings undergoing refurbishment which could have been avoided.

These fires can have serious consequences: not only can buildings, including those of historic interest, be completely destroyed in a matter of minutes; workers and the public can be seriously injured or even killed. Furthermore, after a construction fire, projects can take months and even years to complete.

The Joint Code of Practice is the legislation which has been put in place to promote awareness and give guidelines on fire prevention on construction and building sites.

Background to the Code

The Joint Code of Practice was first published in 1992 in response to two significant fires on construction sites that resulted in a combined loss of more than £150 million – a level where insurers were questioning whether the provision of insurance for construction sites could economically continue.

Since 1992, the Code has prompted significant improvements in fire risk and safety management on construction projects.

With the backing of insurers, key players in the construction industry and support from the Chief Fire Officers' Association, London Fire Brigade and the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the Joint Code of Practice has prompted many significant improvements in the management of fire safety on construction and refurbishment projects.

Objective of the Code

The objective of the Joint Code of Practice, now in its 9th edition, is the prevention of fires on construction sites.

Fires can be prevented and the consequences mitigated by designing out risks, taking simple precautions, and by adopting safe working practices. Due care by all parties is required to ensure that adequate detection and prevention measures are incorporated into the design and contract planning stages, and that work on site is undertaken to the highest standard of fire safety, thereby affording the maximum level of protection to the building and its occupants.

Scope of the Code

The Code applies to activities before and during the procurement, construction and design process – not the completed structure – and should be read in conjunction with all current legislation and HS(G) 168:g Fire safety in construction work.

The scope of this Code applies to projects with an original contract value of £2.5m or above, and applies equally to smaller value contracts where these are part of a large project. A large project is one with a value of £20m and above. There may be exceptional circumstances, such as in the case of high fire risk sites, where these thresholds are reduced. In cases where the construction contract or the insurance contract does not require this Code to apply, this Code shall serve as 'best practice'. All parties must always check with their insurance providers on each project.

Compliance with the Joint Code Of Practice

The Code applies to construction sites, including those where civil engineering works, demolition, alterations, fitting out, renovations, refurbishment or repair work is being carried out and applies to all parties in the supply chain, including those who specify and design, as well as contractors during the construction phase.

How the Code applies to Temporary Covering Materials

"Where flexible protective covering materials are used, these must conform to the requirements of the LPCB's Loss Prevention Standard LPS 1207: Fire requirements for protective covering materials (ref. 13) or equivalent standard (for example, ref. 14). The materials shall be manufactured in accordance with a quality assurance and certification programme, and the manufacturer shall be certified by a third-party approval body accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. The relevant approval mark shall be printed on the material."

"When flexible materials are used to clad scaffolding, these materials must conform to the requirements of LPS 1215: Flammability requirements and tests for LPCB approval of scaffolding materials (ref. 15) or equivalent standard (for example, ref. 16). The material shall be manufactured in accordance with a quality assurance and certification programme, and the manufacturer shall be certified by a third-party approval body accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. The relevant approval mark shall be printed on the material."

Extract from Fire Prevention on Construction Sites Joint Code of Practice 9th edition

NOTE: The company who is responsible for the insurance of the project is also responsible for compliance with the code, even if a subcontractor is providing the temporary covering materials.

How Do I Know If The Temporary Covering Materials Comply With The Joint Code Of Practice?

Materials that meet the above criteria must be printed with the relevant approval mark together with the manufacturer's certificate number as illustrated in the examples below:

LCPB Logo

LPCB Approved to LPS 1207
Cert.No 843a/03

LCPB Logo

Certifire Approved
Cert. No CF 5088

Many of Protec's products are LPCB or Certifire approved. For example, Coverguard Heavy Duty Flooring Protector, Flame Retardant Scaffold Netting and Flame Retardant Door Jamb Protectors.

View all Protec Certificated FR products

What are the risks of not complying with the Code?

If compliance with the Code forms part of the insurance contract, non-compliance with this Code could possibly result in insurance ceasing to be available or being withdrawn, resulting in a possible breach of a construction contract which requires the provision of such insurance.

Where can I purchase Protec Temporary Covering Materials that will help comply with The Joint Code Of Practice?

Protec has the largest range of LPCB and Certifire approved Flame Retardant products for internal and external temporary protection.

Where can I purchase a copy of The Joint Code Of Practice?

The FPA sell the copies of the Joint Code of Practice at the FPA online shop

Where can I find further information on this subject?

Online documents:

Websites: