Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc

April 28, 2008 08:00 ET

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc: 'Hot Work' Protocol Reduces Potential for Fire Loss

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 28, 2008) - The blaze that devastated the 119-year-old United Church in Waterford, Ontario, is a reminder that fire is an ever-present danger for places of worship. Ecclesiastical Insurance recommends that a hot work protocol be implemented and followed to reduce the potential for fire. The term 'hot work' refers to work that produces an open flame, sparks, or any other potential ignition source. Welding, soldering, cutting, and grinding, or activities involving the use of gases, flammable liquids, grinders and blowtorches, are hot work. The risk of fire is heightened during these operations, so steps should be taken to mitigate the possibility of a loss.

1. Have a 'Hot Work Permit' system in place. The permit should include details such as the nature of the work, the location, time period allotted, completion date, a "final check" time, and a checklist of precautions that must be carried out. Go to for a sample permit.

2. Hot work should only be carried out by qualified workers.

3. Ensure you have proof of insurance coverage from the contractor (i.e. a certificate of insurance).

4. Inform your insurers of the work being done.

5. A dry chemical fire extinguisher should be present on the work site while work is being completed.

6. Monitor all work being undertaken by contractors and ensure that contractors are aware of the location of fire extinguishers.

7. The worksite should be inspected daily by a responsible official while the work is ongoing, and a fire watch maintained for at least an hour following the completion of each day's work.

8. No smoking on or near the work site.

9. Remove all combustible materials used for the work from the site at the end of each day. Store combustible building materials (e.g., flammable liquids, gas cylinders, paint, etc.) outside and well away from the building. Gas cylinders should not be left on the roof.

10. Ensure that the area where the work is being completed is well ventilated.

11. Remove all combustible materials within 30 feet of the work site. Combustible materials within the vicinity that cannot be removed should be covered with a fire-resistive shielding to avoid any contact with the flame.

12. If possible, wet down the area before work is completed.

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About Ecclesiastical Insurance

Ecclesiastical Insurance is the insurer of choice for Canada's places of worship. The company was established in the United Kingdom in 1887 and opened in Canada in 1972. Ecclesiastical is owned by a charitable trust and is committed to serving the needs of its customers and the larger community. Group profits (other than funds required for business operations) are redistributed for the benefit of faith and charitable initiatives. Ecclesiastical is rated "A" by A.M. Best, and "A-" by Standard and Poor's.

For more information about risk control or Ecclesiastical Insurance, please contact:

Contact Information

  • For more information about risk control or Ecclesiastical
    Insurance, please contact:
    Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc
    Stuart Rowley
    Underwriting and Operations Manager for Canada
    (416) 484-4918, Email:
    Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc
    Jacinta Whyte
    General Manager & Chief Agent for Canada
    (416) 484-4900