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 Hot Work Operations

What is Hot Work?

Hot work is any activity that creates heat, flame, sparks, or smoke. Examples of hot work include, but are not limited to: welding (gas or arc), cutting, grinding, brazing, soldering, and hot tar operations.

Permits are issued under the guidance of NFPA 51B, Standard for Fire Prevention during Welding, Cutting, and Other Hot Work. USACE sites must also comply with EM 385-1-1.10 Welding and Cutting. 

Permits will not be issued unless all required safety precautions are met. Fire extinguishers and extinguishing media are required based on the hazard present. At a minimum, a 10 pound class 4A:60B:C multi-purpose dry-chemical fire extinguisher or equivalent will be used.  Permits will not be issued in rooms used for day care or school age programs while occupied by children.   If the operation is deemed safe, DA Form 5383-R Hot Work Permit, signed by the inspector shall be given to the operator and/or to the supervisor. A copy of the DA Form 5383-R shall be maintained by the fire department. Each separate operation, work site, and day of operation shall require an inspection and issuance of a permit. No person at any time shall conduct any cutting or welding operation outside of an established authorized shop without an approved DA Form 5383-R Hot Work Permit.

Operations in a confined space shall comply with the requirements in Section 34 of USACE EM 385-1-1,
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.146 and OSHA 29 CFR 1926.21(b)(6). Any potential for a hazard in the confined space, including hot work, requires a permit system to be used. Examples of confined spaces shall include but not be limited to tanks, vessels, hoppers, vaults, pits, storage bins, and crawl spaces. A hot work permit shall not be issued unless an Activity Hazard Analysis (AHA) is completed and a confined space permit is posted at the entrance.

Hot work permits issued by firefighters are only valid until the start of the next duty day or 24 hours, whichever is less.

Hot work permits are valid for one day and for the specific operation. 

Perpetual daily permits will not be issued. The permit shall be valid for the specific place and length of the specific operation.

Flash back arrestors are required on both the oxygen and fuel line. Arrestors should be place at the closest point to the flame or on the fuel gas bank, vessel or cylinder. Demolition work or where the possibility a hose could rupture caused by falling debris requires a flash arrestor closest to the cylinder.

Acetylene and oxygen valves at the cylinder shall be closed whenever the equipment is left unattended or when work is stopped for more than 15 minutes.

Operators of electric welding equipment needing to leave or stop work for any appreciable time shall open the power supply switch to the equipment and disconnect the equipment from the source of power.

The use of an open flame device to remove paint, loosen floor tiles or glues from any structure is prohibited.

Annual Hot Work

Individual welding shops may be granted blanket approval by the Installation Fire Chief provided all safety requirements are met. An organizational fire prevention and safety plan outlining procedures and responsibilities of workers and supervisors is required along with proof of annual training in the following areas: Definition of Hot Work, Hot Work Safety Requirements, Employee Training Requirements, The Relevant Regulatory Standards, Hot Work Hazard Recognition & Control Skills, Prohibitions Regarding Hot Work at this Facility, The Hot Work Permit and Commonly Used Forms, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Requirements, Hot Work as it Relates to Confined Spaces, Fire Evacuation Requirements, Hot Work Operating Procedures, Fire Watch Operating Procedures, and Emergency Notification Procedures.

Workers shall not freelance or perform hot work operations unless approved by a competent supervisor. The supervisor is responsible to ensure the area is safe prior to the start of the operation. The permit is applicable to the confines of the “welding shop” or defined area only and any adjacent areas require a separate permit. Oxygen and fuel gas systems in use shall be frequently inspected for evidence of leaks in hoses, couplings, valve stems and fittings, and other points in the system.

Hot work is any activity that creates heat, flame, sparks, or smoke. Examples of hot work include, but are not limited to: welding (gas or arc), cutting, grinding, brazing, soldering, and hot tar operations.


Hot work operations are by permit (DA Form 5383-R) and only through F&ES by calling (910) 907-4813.

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