Burning, Welding, Cutting and Other Use of Open Flame

Prior to beginning work, Obtain a "Single-Use Hot Work Permit" from the Facilities Service Desk located in the Power Plant. This is a required system for any temporary operation that involves open flames or produces heat and/or sparks. This includes but is not limited to: brazing, cutting, grinding, soldering, thawing pipe, and torch-applied roofing.

Alternatively, a "Multiple-Use Hot Work Permit” may be used if the work is ongoing and is located in one of the campus’ Designated Hot Work Areas. Contact the Facilities Service Desk for information on current Designated Hot Work Areas. For all subsequent work on the same project, a new permit does not need to be obtained, but an entry must be documented in the “Hot Work Log Book” in the Designated Hot Work Area.

Once the permit has been issued, survey the surrounding work area (a minimum of 35 ft [11 m]) and remove combustible material or protect it from sparks and open flame. Provide and keep an appropriate fire extinguisher close to the operation. When the person doing the work cannot also act as a fire watch, assign an additional person to do this. The person doing the work or the fire watch must be trained on how to prevent fires, how to operate the fire extinguisher, and the appropriate actions to take in the event of a fire. Report all fires to Public Safety on 202-319-5111.

Provide and install welding screens or shields whenever it is possible for people nearby the work area to be exposed, in order to prevent flash burns.

Block off any duct openings and cover or fill any openings in exposed walls, the floor, and the ceiling with noncombustible material.

Shield combustible flooring with wet sand, fire retardant tarpaulins, or sheet metal. Provide a fire retardant covering under hot work where hot work will occur at a height.

Once the hot work operation has been completed, the area must be monitored for smoke/fire for a MINIMUM of 30 minutes following completion.

If work is to be done inside an occupied building, plan the work so as to minimize occupants' exposure to fumes. Ventilate the work area to the outside if possible. Close and or seal doors and access ways to nearby rooms, particularly air distribution rooms, if fumes may enter these rooms. Work with the project manager to inform the occupants of the building that the work is to take place and that odors may be present.

Read the section regarding Gas Cylinders in this guide for additional guidance.


12H DCMR Fire Code (IFC 2012 w/ 2013 Supplement) 105.6.11 and 105..6.23; 2012 IFC Chapter 35; 29 CFR1910.251-256; 29 CFR 1926 Subpart J