In effort to minimize the risk of fires, hot work permits (see also the Safety section of this handbook) are required for activities involving burning, welding, grinding, flame or spark producing operations or any work utilizing flammable substances (such as gasoline, kerosene, paint thinners or other liquid with a flashpoint of 110 degrees F see MSDS). The same consideration of risk for a fire hazard must be given to operations whether work is taking place on the inside or the outside of the structure.

Contractors are responsible for managing the hot work permitting process, training employees to maintain access to all emergency equipment and exits, and establishing an emergency evacuation plan in case of a fire. The contractor will notify the UVM Contact prior to performing hot work.


Contractors must provide extinguishers suitable in type, number and location given the fire hazards associated with the job as required by OSHA. Extinguishers must be maintained by the Contractor monthly, when used and when damaged. All extinguishers must be free and clear from obstruction at all times.

Contractors working within UVM buildings are authorized for emergency use of facility fire extinguishers provided that the individual has received training prior to use. If the Contractor is performing work within a UVM facility that requires having an extinguisher nearby (i.e. welding), then the Contractor will not use a facility extinguisher, they will provide their own extinguisher for the duration of the work.

Contractors are responsible for training employees on the safe use and handling of fire extinguishers.

Should a Contractor have reason to discharge a UVM fire extinguisher in case of an emergency, the Contractor will report having used the extinguisher immediately to the UVM Contact as well as the circumstances surrounding the need to use the extinguisher.

Fire Protection and Fire Alarm Impairments

Any work that requires any part of a fire protection system or fire alarm system to be shut down will be coordinated with the UVM contact. Notification must be made to monitoring points (UVM Police Services and Burlington Fire Department). UVM contact will coordinate notifications and the completion of any required permits.

System impairments are to be kept to the minimum duration required. The Contractor is responsible for ensuring all systems are restored at the completion of the work (if work is completed within one shift) or at the end of each affected work day.

Combustible Material Storage

Whether inside or outside, combustible materials storage will be a minimum of 35 feet away from the point of operation from any hot work. When there is not a minimum of 35 feet clearance available, then the materials will be moved to another location within the site. If the combustible materials cannot be moved, then they will be shielded from the hot work.

When storing combustible materials, take care to stack for stability and never exceed a height of 20 feet. UVM requires that stacks be no closer than two feet from sprinkler heads.

Flammable and Combustible Liquids

Storage of flammable and combustible materials must be contained. Flammable and combustible liquids stored outside must be kept in an approved, contained storage area, remote from general access or traffic. Inside storage requires approved, rated flammable storage cabinets.

While in use or in storage, flammable liquids will be kept in their original containers, safety cans (with flame arrestor/self-closing caps) or approved tank/drum dispensing installations.

When dispensing flammable liquids, containers must be grounded and bonded to prevent the generation of sparks.