One of the reasons why you need to hire demolition contractors when you want to bring down a building is because they know how to use explosives safely. They do these by putting in place several safety precautions such as:
Preparing the Site
Just because blasting damages the building to be demolished does not mean that the site should be jumbled up. The presence of other structures on the site can amplify the explosion and cause injuries or damages.
For this reason, the demolition contractors have to clear away all unnecessary objects from the site. The contractors may also remove the structural support systems such as beams and columns in the building. A structural engineer supervises the removal of these structures so as not to damage the integrity of the main structure to be blasted, which can lead to premature collapse.
Selecting the Right Personnel
Apart from site preparation, the contractors also increase the blasting safety by using the right personnel – blasters. A blaster should:
- Have the relevant training and knowledge of using explosives
- Be in a good physical condition
- Not be intoxicated while working
- Understand local and state laws on the use of explosives
On the issue of training, each province has its certification requirements. For example, British Columbia requires that only those with a Blaster's Certificate from WorkSafeBC conduct blasting operations.
The blaster is the person responsible for giving orders at the site during blasting. He or she is also responsible for ensuring that all the ground workers adhere to these and other safety precautions.
Taking Fire Precautions
The third precaution that contractors must observe has to do with fire. Fire and explosives don't play well, so contractors make the necessary efforts to remove not only the open fires but also potential sources of sparks. This includes firearms, heat producing electrical devices, cigarette lighters and others.
Remember that some explosives are set off by electrical detonators. Such detonators can be switched on by radio frequency (RF) signals; this means RF sources (such as two-way radios) are not to be used at the demolition site too. These things should not be in the vicinity of the storage areas of the explosives, the transportation trucks or even the blast site itself.
These are just three examples of precautions that demolition contractors use to keep blast sites safe. They just go to show you that demolition is a serious and risky job that amateurs should not engage in. Check out companies like Central Canadian Structures Inc if you need help.