» Hot Work Program

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The purpose of this program is to establish written procedures to prevent injury or loss to property due to fires resulting from any temporary operation involving open flames or producing heat and/or sparks. This includes, but is not limited to: brazing, cutting, grinding, soldering, torch-applied roofing and welding


The scope of this program applies to work performed by Chapman University employees and contractors performing maintenance and renovations in existing University buildings.  Hot work activities which occur in new construction are covered under the construction permit and do not require an operational permit for hot work.


Brazing and Soldering - Soldering and brazing uses molten metal to join two pieces of metal. The metal added during both processes has a melting point lower than that of the workpiece, so only the added metal is melted, not the workpiece. Brazing produces a stronger joint than does soldering, and often is used to join metals other than steel, such as brass. Brazing can also be used to apply coatings to parts to reduce wear and protect against corrosion.

Combustible Materials - Solid materials that are capable of burning and igniting.

Cutting - Any process, including grinding, which produces sparks capable of igniting combustible or flammable materials and transmits heat to the work material from a hot gas.

Fire Watch - At least one individual dedicated solely to extinguishing small spot fires and communicating an alarm.

Flammable Compressed Gas - Flammable compressed gases have dangers besides high pressure. These gases can easily catch fire and burn rapidly. These include acetylene, hydrogen, natural gas and propane.
Flammable Materials - Solid or liquid materials that are capable of igniting at a low temperature and continuing to burn.

Grinding - See the definition for Cutting.

Hot Work - Operations such as welding, cutting, burning, heating, grinding, or similar spark, slag, or intense heat producing activities that are capable of igniting combustible materials or flammable atmospheres or providing a source of ignition for a fire. Also defined as cutting and welding operations for construction/demolition activities that involve the use of portable gas or arc welding equipment, open flame or spark-producing apparatus.

New Construction - New work that is comprised of structural and mechanical work creating new buildings.
Nonflammable Compressed Gas - These types of gases do not catch fire easily or burn quickly, but will eventually burn and possess other dangers. The cylinder label and Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) will describe the toxic properties and physical hazards posed by specific nonflammable compressed gases. These include: ammonia, argon, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, chlorine, and nitrous oxide. Symptoms of exposure include dizziness, unconsciousness, or suffocation under certain circumstances. They can also be harmful if inhaled, and can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.
Renovations and Remodels - New work that takes place in an existing building.

Shielding - Non-combustible welding drapes, used in hot work areas. Visible signs should be displayed on shielding while hot work is being performed.
Smoldering - A slow combustion of material without visible light and generally evidenced by smoke and an increase in temperature.

Soldering - Soldering uses metals with a melting point below 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Soldering is commonly used to join electrical, electronic, and other small metal parts.
Torch Operations - A plasma torch is used as an advanced tool for welding and cutting operations. Intense ultraviolet radiation, high noise levels, and gases are generated during this process.
Welding - Welding is the most common way of permanently joining metal parts. In this process, heat is applied to metal pieces, melting and fusing them to form a permanent bond. The following lists the most commonly practiced forms of welding:


Chapman University Employees

  • Follow all warning signs, barricades, and barriers posted around hot work activities.
  • Immediately report any signs of smoldering fires.

Campus Planning

  • For new construction activities and renovation projects, assist Fire Prevention in the intent of this program.
  • Complete required hot work permit request form when necessary.
  • Ensure that all contractors (both general and sub) post permits for the duration of the hot work.
  • Advise contractors about flammable materials or hazardous conditions in the areas where they will be working.
  • Ensure that fire protection and extinguishing equipment is available at the site before starting the job.
  • Ensure that the contractor is performing the required minimum fire watch.

Facilities Management

  • Assist Fire Prevention in the intent of this program.
  • Attend required initial and refresher hot work training.
  • Ensure that workers performing hot work are trained and know the procedures that apply to the specific work or task being performed.
  • Complete required hot work permit request form and obtain permit before initiating work.
  • Ensure that fire protection and extinguishing equipment is available at the site before starting the job.
  • Post permits for the duration of the hot work.
  • Be responsible for the safe handling and use of heating, cutting, welding, or grinding equipment.
  • Review the work location to determine if combustible materials, hazardous atmospheres, or hazardous materials are present in the work area.
  • Ensure that equipment used is in proper working condition.
  • Ensure that a Fire Watch, if required, has been assigned.
  • Work areas where hot work is performed on a continual or on-going basis may be permitted for this work on an annual basis. These designated fixed hot work areas must be maintained free of combustible materials at all times, and must be inspected periodically to ensure that the area is safe for hot work to continue.
  • Use appropriate PPE while performing hot work (welding helmets, gloves, jackets, etc.).

Fire Watchers

  • The Fire Watch may only be performed by an individual who is not performing any other duties that would take attention away from the area where the hot work is performed.
  • Must have the authority to stop hot work operations.
  • Be aware of the inherent hazards involved in hot work.
  • Ensure that safe conditions are maintained during the hot work.
  • Ensure that appropriate fire extinguishers are readily available at the job site.
  • Know how to report a fire or other emergency situation.
  • Ensure that any covers on sprinkler heads are immediately removed upon completion of the hot work. Sprinkler heads cannot be covered after work hours and shields must be removed.
  • Be trained in campus fire safety procedures and the use of fire extinguishing equipment.
  • Have an extinguisher with a minimum 2-A:20-B:C rating within reach.
  • Must have immediate communication with the individual(s) performing hot work.
  • Must know the locations of pull stations to sound an alarm in the event of a fire.
  • Have means of immediate emergency communication to the Department of Public Safety.
  • Watch for fires in all exposed areas for a minimum of thirty (30) minutes after hot work is completed (including lunch and break times), sound the alarm if necessary, and try to extinguish fires only when obviously within the capability of the equipment available.
  • Ensure that no condition arises, or action is taken, that will lead to a hazardous situation in the hot work area.
  • Must remain in the work area after work is completed to ensure the risk of fire from hot work has passed (minimum of thirty (30) minutes).

Fire Prevention

  • Review and approve permits for all hot work activities in existing campus structures.
  • Stop hot work activities that do not have a proper permit on display.
  • Serve as a technical resource for fire prevention issues.
  • Contact lead person or supervisor to obtain more specific information about hot work activities, or visit the work site, as deemed necessary.

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)

  • Review permits for all hot work activities in Hashinger Hall, advising of possible hazardous materials issues.

In the absence of Fire Prevention:

  • Review and approve permits for all hot work activities in existing campus structures.
  • Stop hot work activities that do not have a proper permit on display.
  • Contact lead person or supervisor to obtain more specific information about hot work activities, or visit the work site, as deemed necessary.

Facilities Director or designee

In the absence of Fire Prevention and EH&S:

  • Review and approve permits for all hot work activities in existing campus structures.
  • Stop hot work activities that do not have a proper permit on display.
  • Contact lead person or supervisor to obtain more specific information about hot work activities, or visit the work site, as deemed necessary

Hot Work Permits

Hot work should not be performed if the work can be avoided or completed in a safer manner.  When practical, objects to be welded, cut, or heated must be moved to a designated, fixed hot work location.

If hot work must be performed, a hot work permit must be obtained.  To expedite the hot work permit process, permit request should be submitted at least two work days prior to the commencement of hot work.

Obtaining a Hot Work Permit

  • The individual performing the hot work must inspect the work area for code compliance, complete the inspection checklist and have the appropriate manager/supervisor fill out the permit.
  • Contractors on campus must have the project manager fill out the permit and inspect the work area for code compliance.
  • Submit the permit to Fire Prevention for review and approval.
  • The Facilities Management electricians and/or Fire Prevention Officer must be notified so that it can be determined if it is necessary to de-activate a zone or a detector within the fire alarm system while work is being performed in order to prevent a false alarm. The building fire alarm system will not be disabled. 
  • The Department of Public Safety must be notified when and where the hot work will be taking place and what room/area is disabled on the fire alarm system.
  • Contact Facilities Management to isolate or shut down HVAC systems if work is to occur where ducts or conveyor systems are capable of carrying sparks to distant combustibles.
  • All requirements indicated on the hot work permit must be met before hot work begins.
  • The hot work permit is good only for the date(s) and time specified on the permit. A copy of the permit must remain at the hot work location until the work or fire watch, if required, has been completed.
  • All personnel (employees, contractors, building occupants) must be suitably protected against hazards generated by the work (i.e. heat, sparks, fumes, welding rays, etc.). This may include, but is not limited to, the use of personal protective equipment, shields, screens, or local exhaust ventilation.

A Hot Work Permit will NOT be issued if the following conditions exist:

  • Existing sprinkler protection is impaired.
  • The appropriate fire extinguisher is not immediately available for use.
  • Combustible or flammable materials are within thirty-five (35) feet and cannot be moved or protected from ignition sparks.
  • Flammable and/or explosive vapors or gases are present.
  • Wall and floor openings are open and not covered.
  • Floors are not swept clean of combustible materials.
  • Work is not covered underneath by a fire-resistive tarpaulin or similar material.
  • Cutting or welding on pipes or other metals conducts enough heat to ignite combustible materials located nearby.
  • Fire Watch personnel are performing other duties.

Fire Watch - A Fire Watch is required whenever welding or cutting is performed in locations where an incipient stage fire might develop, or whenever any of the following conditions exist:

  • Appreciable combustible materials are closer than thirty-five (35) feet to the point of operation;
  • Appreciable combustibles are present which can be ignited by sparks;
  • Wall or floor openings within a thirty-five (35) feet radius can expose combustible materials in adjacent areas including concealed spaces in walls or floors; or
  • Combustible materials are adjacent to the opposite side of metal partitions, walls, ceilings or roofs and are likely to be ignited by conduction or radiation.
  • A fire watch must be maintained for a minimum of thirty (30) minutes after completion of hot work to detect and extinguish smoldering fires. Suitable fire extinguishing equipment must be maintained and be ready for use while welding, cutting, and burning activities are performed and during the fire watch.

Warning Signs, Barricades, and Barriers - In order to control traffic, barriers and proper signs must be posted to ensure traffic is prevented from exposure to hot work areas. Shields must be used to prevent exposure to sparks and flashes. A clear path to an exit of at least forty-four (44) inches must be maintained at all times. Whenever possible, vehicular traffic should be kept out of hot work areas while work is in progress.  Signs must be posted in the immediate area to alert building occupants not to enter the hot work location.

Isolation of Fire Detection Systems - Fire detection equipment must be protected from false activation and damage. Smoke detectors should be shielded with dust covers or protected with a plastic bag and tape. If hot work impacts the fire detection system, Facilities Management or Fire Prevention must be notified to deactivate, disable, or take off line any devices in the impacted area. Work must not proceed until the deactivation of the impacted fire alarm devices has been confirmed. Minimal impairment of the fire detection systems must be maintained at all times. Project managers, supervisors, maintenance staff, and contractors must ensure fire detection systems are isolated where hot work is being performed, as appropriate, and that all detectors have been uncovered or returned to service once hot work is completed.  Detectors shall be uncovered and operational at the end of each work day.

Fire Sprinkler Systems - Sprinkler heads above or near the hot work area shall be covered with wet rags or other non-combustible materials to keep them from activating due to the hot work


Chapman University Staff

Department supervisors shall ensure their employees who perform hot work operations have been properly trained in safety and the proper equipment operations.  Additionally, all employees performing hot work or fire watch duties must be trained in the following in order to conduct hot work activities

  • Proper use of portable fire extinguishers
  • Fire precautions;
  • Fire watch; and
  • Hot work procedures, including how to obtain the written hot work permit.


Contractors are required to provide training to their employees who will be involved in performing hot work. Contractors shall maintain hot work equipment in a safe and operational manner and remove from service any equipment found to be defective.  Contractors and their employees shall follow the requirements and safety procedures as set forth in the university's hot work program

Applicable Regulations and Standards

  • Title 8, California Code of Regulations, Sections 4845-4848,Gas Systems for Welding and Cutting, and Fire Prevention and Suppression Procedures.
  • Title 8, California Code of Regulations, Sections 4850-4853 Electric Welding, Arc Welding and Cutting, Resistance Welding, and Inert-Gas Metal-Arc Welding.
  • Title 8, California Code of Regulations, Section 3221, Fire Prevention Plan.
  • California Fire Code, Chapter 26, Welding and Other Hot Work.
  • NFPA 51B-1999, Standard for Fire Prevention During Welding, Cutting, and Other Hot Work, Chapter 3