2 Welcome and Introductions- Classroom schedule- Six sessions and final exam (total time= approx. 270 minutes)Field Work/Testing- Candidates evaluated on competency (curb detailing, waterproofing a drain, and flashing a pipe penetration) (Time for completion = 180 minutes)Requirements to pass the class- take the final examination and passing the field test.SessionDescriptionTime Allotted1Program Overview35 Minutes2Section 1: Why is Training Important30 Minutes3Section 2: Pre-job Planning and Preparation4Section 3: Propane Tool and Equipment Safety45 Minutes5Section 4: Application Safety60 Minutes6Section 5: Post Job Requirements and Duties
3 Program Success-In 2003, NRCA teamed up with MRCA and CNA insurance to launch the CERTA program because of high costs associated with fire damage.Insurance claims and costs have since been greatly reduced.Program is only successful if it: Increases awareness and changes behavior in order to reduce personal injuries and property damage.YearNumber of ClaimsLoss Amount200246$13,784,800200323$7,822,500200420$3,901,000200513$3,717,500200614$1,583,500200710$287,800
4 Cautionary Note:The CERTA student manual should not substitute for a company’s written safety plan.Becoming certified in the program can not replace field experience.Check your local fire and building code requirements prior to construction that might be unique for that project.Re-certification required after three years in order to address changes in safety guidelines or recommended best management practices.Remember to keep in mind that roofing is what we do…..and safely is how we do it!
5 Key Learning Objectives Understand personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements for torching activitiesDiscuss basic first aid procedures associated with torching activitiesExplain proper steps and procedures for handling propane gas cylindersIdentify components of a torch assembly and how to properly assemble and use the equipmentDemonstrate safe torching techniques near hazardous areasIdentify hazardous areas during a pre-construction inspectionExplain post job fire watch duties and responsibilities
6 Section 1-Why is Training Important Safety is everyone’s responsibility and maintaining a safe work environment is the highest priority!Image credit: NRCA
7 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)- Clothing, goggles, safety glasses, face shields, hard hats, work boots, are your first line of defense.Wear long sleeved shirts buttoned at the cuffs.Make sure your work boots cover your ankles.Wear pants without cuffs that extend over the top of your work boots.Clothing should be made of cotton or wool….polyester and other synthetic materials can melt into the causing painful burns.Heavy leather gloves and/or gauntlets shall be worn whenever you have a torch in your hand.Wear goggles or a face shield if working in a confined space or on windy days.Hard hats will be worn when there are overhead hazards.
8 First Aid for Heat Related Illnesses- Torching is HOT work….torch heads temperatures can reach 2,000 degrees F.Dizziness, poor judgment and slow reaction times can all occur if overheated.Recognize heat stress symptoms:Mild symptoms include: Muscle spasms, heavy sweating, fatigue.Serious symptoms include: Nausea/vomiting, headache, elevated body temperatureLife threatening symptoms include: Sweating stops, red/dry/hot skin, rapid pulseStop work immediately if heat stress symptoms occur, seek immediate medical attention if serious or life threatening symptoms occur.Preventative Measures:Wear light colored clothing.Wear a hat to protect your head, neck, and eyes.Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic/non-caffeinated liquids before and after work.Allow your body to acclimate to hot conditions before working full days in extreme heat.Get out of the sun whenever possible to break up long periods of exposure.
9 First Aid for Burns-First degree burns are caused by sun exposure, scalding by steam, or briefly touching a torch head.Remedy- Apply cool water to burn area. DO NOT APPLY ointments, fats, or oils. See a doctor if the burn area is extensive or if swelling occurs.Second degree burns result from serious sunburns, contact with hot liquids, flash burns from gasoline, open flame from torches. Seek medical attention immediately.Remedy- Submerge in cool water or wrap with a wet cloth. Leave bitumen in place if stuck to the skin and go to a hospital.Third degree burns caused by direct flame exposure, ignited clothing, contact with hot bitumen, immersion in scalding water or electrical shock.Remedy- Immediately call for an ambulance, if victim is unconscious check for breathing and heartbeat (perform CPR if necessary), make sure the victim does not walk around.
10 First Aid for Propane Freeze Burns- Place the worker in a warm area and allow slowly apply warmth gradually to the burn area. Skin tissue may be damaged if warmed up too quickly.To relieve pain, immerse affected areas in water that is around degrees F.Give the worker a warm non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated liquid.Seek immediate medial attention!
11 Fire SafetyThe goal of this program is not to make you a professional firefighter but to provide you with some basic knowledge and skills that can help protect you, your co-workers and the project site where you are working.Fire facts:Combustible materials need not to touch an open flame to ignite.Insulation and other materials may ignite suddenly if the “flash point” and air temperatures are high enough.Smoke is the real killer. Toxic fumes account for more deaths that exposure to fire and burns.Image credit: NRCA
12 Have a Safety Plan/Program in Place Before starting work the foreman should ensure that the phone number of the nearest fire department is posted near the entrance of the roof.Place this number in a binder along with the safety plan and list the project site address so that workers can easily call if there is a problem.It is even good practice for the foreman to have that phone number programmed into their cell phone.Report all fires to the fire department even if the crew extinguishes a problem spot or small fire. Hidden fires could remain out of site which need attending too.
13 Fire Extinguisher Guidelines All fire extinguishers should be fully charged and meet 4A60BC requirements.Each torch operator should have a fire extinguisher within 10 feet of torching work.A minimum of two fire extinguishers should be readily available near torching work.Fire extinguishers should be placed no closer than 10 feet from a propane tank.All fire extinguishers shall be up to date with a valid inspection tag and have a plastic seal band in place through the release pin.If a fire extinguishers has been partially discharged they need to be removed from the project site and re-charged.
14 Types of FiresClass A Fires- Ordinary Combustibles: Wood, Paper, Plastic, Rags, etc.Class B Fires- Flammable Liquids: Gasoline, Oil, Grease, Paint, etc.Class C Fires- Electrical Fires: Heaters, Motors, Office Equipment, etc.Class D Fires- Metal Fires: Steel, Magnesium, Aluminum, etc.Image credit: NRCA
15 Using a Fire Extinguisher- PASS System Pull- Hold the fire extinguisher upright and then pull out the pin. This will break the safety seal.Aim- Stand upwind, approach the fire cautiously and then aim at the base of the fire to extinguish.Squeeze- Pull the lever to discharge the extinguisherSweep- Spray the extinguisher from side to side.Image credit: NRCA
16 Extinguishing a Liquefied Petroleum Gas Fire You should only try to extinguish an LP fire if you can turn off the valve of the LP Gas cylinder.If the supply of the fuel is not turned off an explosion can occur which is a greater hazard than the fire itself.Attack the fire upwind and aim behind the point where the fuel is escaping. Turn off the fuel supply source immediately. After fire is extinguished and the valve is shut off…if a water source/hose is available… spray down cylinder to keep it cool.
17 Section 2 Pre-job Planning and Preparation A daily inspection checklist should be signed and dated by everyone involved in the inspection (Typically, includes the owner’s rep, the general contractor, roofer, etc.)
18 Identifying Fall Hazards and Keeping a Clean Jobsite Housekeeping- Keep a clean workplace so that loose materials don’t blow into the flames.Controls- Remove all trash and debris from the work area. Maintain clean practices throughout the course of each day.Fall Protection- Exposed edges and holes that are not covered up create the potential for a dangerous fall.Controls- Be sure that guardrails, personal fall arrest equipment, hole covers, warning lines, and safety monitors are in place. Also, that employees are properly trained in how to setup and use that equipment.Image credit: NRCA
19 Identifying Trip Hazards and Proper Ventilation Tripping Hazards- Tripping over a hose that are attached to a lit torch can create a fire hazard.Controls- Position equipment and hoses during the course of work to minimize risks for tripping and falls.Proper Ventilation- LP vapors are heavier than air and may pool in low or poorly ventilated areas and if ignited can cause an explosion.Controls- Identify areas where the vapor might collect and prevent smoking in those areas. Also, you might want to put a fan in these areas to provide for proper circulationImage credit: NRCA
20 Inclement Weather and Changing Jobsite Conditions Excessive Wind- Windy conditions may cause flames to travel further than normal.Controls- Increase torch head distance from hazards or cease operation of the using the torch altogether.Bright sunlight- It is difficult to see the open flame when the torch is on.Controls- Remind workers that it is difficult to see a torch that is on. Turn off all equipment when the torch is not in use.Changing Jobsite- Often the jobsite will have several different trades working at the same time and may present day to day hazards.Controls- Meet with the general contractor and the owner’s rep daily to define these hazards before work begins.Image credit: NRCA
21 General Fire SafetyCombustible Materials- Materials packaged in shrink wrap, cardboard packaging, brown bags, or under tarps may pose a problem during construction.Controls- These materials should be stored at least 20 feet from where torch work will occur.Under deck/hidden hazards- Combustible materials may be located directly under the deck that you can not see that might catch fire.Controls- Inspect below the deck to determine if combustible materials are present.Image credit: NRCA
22 General Fire SafetyUnattended operable torches- Even torches that are resting on their stands may cause a fire or explosion if left with LP gas in the line.Controls- If torching activities are stopped for a period of time. Turn off the shutoff valve and then clear the line of any gas. At no time should the torch be left lit and running unattended.No Thermal Barrier in place- A base ply alone does not constitute a thermal barrier and if placed over combustible materials like plywood, OSB, or fiber board could be dangerous. These materials might show up in the roof assembly, sheathing, or in areas to be flashed.Controls- Watch out for cant strips, wooden blocking near door thresholds, molding around windows, and only torch down if an adequate thermal barrier is in place.Image credit: NRCA
23 Jobsite Hazard Recognition Rooftop penetrations are present- Powered exhaust pipes, air intake vents, exhaust hoods can draw down flames into the equipment and cause fires in the ductwork. Skylights, equipment stands, drains, wooden curbing, usually contain combustible materials and if there are small holes that you can not see you might cause these to catch fire.Controls- Remove any abandoned penetrations and repair the deck openings. Implement torch and flop techniques or use cold applied or hot applied adhesives around these penetrations. Turn off equipment that might draw flames down into these units.Image credit: NRCA
24 Jobsite Hazard Recognition- Rooftop equipment is present- HVAC units, condensers, water chillers, scrubbers, and grease traps all contain materials that can be volatile.Controls- Consult with the building owner to ensure that all flammable or combustible material is removed. It is strongly recommend that you NOT clean these areas .Additional Wall Flashing is present- Some coping, throughwall, and metal counter-flashings may be treated with a volatile finish. Paint may release toxic gases.Controls- Remove all the components prior to torching and store in a safe area. Then replace once the work is completed.Image credit: NRCA
25 Post Job InspectionSecuring the job site- LP gas cylinders remaining the on roof shall be tied together vertically so that they do not blow around or get knocked over.Controls- Secure all LP cylinders in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association at the end of each day and check to make sure that all cylinders are turned off.Conduct a Fire Watch- Combustible materials under the membrane and flashings that are hidden may smolder, build up heat, and eventually burst into flames is left unnoticed.Controls- Select a safety officer to conduct a two hour safety watch after the work is completed.
27 Section 3- Propane Tool & Equipment Safety Often torching equipment is improperly used or used for the wrong purpose. This section will examine each component of the torch assembly and that hazards associated with the torch assembly.It is important for you to understand the characteristics of propane to work with this material safely. This material expands more than 270 times its liquid volume when the gas vaporizes. If the pressure is released too quickly the tank will freeze. LP gas is odorless but an additive included with the gas to give it an easily recognizable smell.Image credit: NRCA
28 Components of the Propane Torch Torch head allows air to mix with the LP vapor and then the ignites the vapor. Most roofing torches will kick out around 350, ,000 BTU’s.Most torches will have a pilot valve and a trigger which will regulate how much gas is released. Higher the pressure the great the heat!If you set down a torch temporarily you should always set it down on the stand. Do not use torches if the stand is missing or bent.Image credit: NRCA
29 Detail Torches, Cylinders and Trolleys Smaller detail torches can be used for flashing work as long as they are under 105,000 BTU’s.Larger propane tanks need to be used when you are using torching trolleys that might have four or five torch heads.If a propane tank is older than 12 years it must be inspected to ensure that it can hold the appropriate pressure.Protective collars must be in place to ensure that the cylinder valve does not get damaged. Always turn off the valve and bleed out the lines when you are done working.Photo credit: NRCA
30 Safety Tips for Cylinders An Overfill Protection Device (OPD) is attached within a tank to a float. If something is loose within the tank and rattles around….do NOT fill up the tank. Overfilling a tank more than 80% of it’s volume could cause an explosion.Open the valve SLOWLY…turning the hand wheel quickly could cause damage to the cylinder valve. Always open the valve completely and if the valve doesn’t open easily retire it from service.Keep the pressure relief valve clear and open in case it needs to vent off gas.Leaking valves need to be replaced by an authorized repairman.Photo credit: NRCA
31 Handling CylindersIt is important to store a propane tank upright and fasten it to a tank dolly or something sturdy so that it doesn’t get knocked over.100 lb. cylinders should be carried by two people and shall not be rolled.Most building codes prohibit you from bringing propane tanks through an enclosed/confined spaces and by no means should you store a propane tank inside a building. (Keep a tank at least 10 feet from a building.)Store tanks in shaded areas if possible and do not store other materials near the tanks.If you are hoisting a tank to a roof make sure that it is properly secured.Photo credit: NRCA
32 Pressure Regulators and Hoses Pressure regulators are the most important part of the torch assembly. A malfunctioning regulator or improperly set regulator could cause serious injury or death.Only adjustable pressure regulators supplied by the torch apparatus manufacturer should be used.It is important to keep regulator vents clear of debris and mud. Vents can become easily clogged.Torches need to be UL approved and you should operate the torch between psi.Hose length should be less than 33 feet and the use of additional couplers and quick connects are prone to leaking and are discouraged.Photo credit: NRCA
33 Section 4- Application Safety There are three primary application methods for polymer-modified bitumen roll goods.Mop Applied with hot bitumenCold Adhesive appliedTorch DownFor this section we are going to focus only on torch down application methods. Follow manufacturer’s installation instructions when assembling the torch apparatus and connecting to the tank.Tighten fittings with an adjustable wrench and DO NOT over tighten.Apply “soapy water” to all the fitting and connection points to check for leaks.Photo credit: NRCA
34 Lighting a Hand Held Torch Make sure that you are wearing the appropriate PPE. (Gloves, safety glasses, pants, long sleeve shirt, and boots at a minimum)Prepare the work area… remove debris….make sure that you have two fire extinguishers…. Position cylinders at least 10 feet away ….untangle hoses ....and keep other workers at least 3 feet away.Close all torch and cylinder valves…and then open the regulator valve until it is loose.Holding the torch assembly by the handle and point away from the body. Then slowly open up the cylinder valve.Tighten up the regulator valve to the pressure desired and then slowly open up the torch pilot valve. At this point the torch is releasing LP vapor.Ignite the vapor using either a spark lighter or a self ignition button. Never use a match or a cigarette to light a torch!Adjust the pilot flame to desired fuel flow rate and to compensate for “windy conditions”. Test the operation of the torch by squeezing and releasing the trigger.To turn off a torch close off the tank valve and let the lines bleed out.Photo credit: NRCA
35 Torching down a membrane Direct the torch to the underside of the membrane and evenly move from left to right across the membrane. Heat the edges a little more so that they “bleed” out slightly when unrolled. Try not to walk on the membrane until it cools down and it is preferred to pull the roll along instead of walking behind it.Be careful if walking backwards so that you do not fall off the roof!Make sure that you use an adequate base sheet and that it is mechanically fastened per NRCA best management practices.Photo credit: NRCA
36 Thermal Barriers, Tapered Insulation and Base Sheets If you are torching over materials like plywood, OSB, or wood planks or other combustible materials like extruded polystyrene, then you need to use at least a ¼” thick glass faced gypsum board.For many of our installations we like to use Georgia Pacific’s ½” thick Densdeck material that has a primed surface that can withstand the high temperatures associated with using a torch.A traditional green roof assembly as shown below uses tapered poly-iso insulation under the membrane to pick up the slope needed for adequate drainage. Slope the roof to drain at least 2%.Image credit: Georgia Pacific
37 Flashing Membrane Application NRCA has recently approved the use of direct torching for flashings with a detail torch as long as you install a self adhered backer 3” vertically above the decking or a cant strip. Air can not pass under the backer or base ply.The detail torch needs to be at least 105,000 BTU’s or less.“Torch and Flop” techniques are still preferred for all types of flashings and the proper installation of these techniques will be shown out in the field.Image credit: NRCA
38 Assembling a Roofing Torch Review Image credit: NRCA
39 Section 5: Post-Job Requirements Most serious roof fires occur hours after the contractor has gone for the day.A fire watch must be conducted for at least two hours after the last torch has been turned off.Image credit: NRCA
40 Fire Watch DutiesActivity #1- Regular underside inspection of visible open roof decks.What to look for: Discolored deck materials, dripping liquids, blistered paint, smoke, glowing embers.How to find fire: Focus under perimeters and roof penetrations. Use a flashlight if necessary.How often: three to four times daily. (During crew breaks, lunch, etc.)Activity #2- Regular inspection of concealed areas and attics.What to look for: Discolored deck materials, dripping liquids, blistered paint, smoke, glowing embers. Also, light penetrating from outside and unusual odors.How to find fire: Use a strong beamed flashlight and smell intentionally.How often: Inspect every two hours or as agreed with the building owner.Activity #3- Regular inspection of the roofs entire field and flashings.What to look for: Discolored deck materials, smoke, sagging membranes and membranes are hot to the touch.How to find fire: Feel around perimeters and flashing areas… use an infrared heat detector….and visually inspect all roof surfaces.Activity #4- Conduct a two hour fire watch and do all the activites stated above continuously.
41 Building Owner Requirements If you are the designated fire watch person, you must know the location of the building’s fire alarm as well as how to operate it.You must be given the authority by the building owner to trigger an alarm.Interior inspections are extremely important and you must have access to all areas in order to conduct this task properly. Obtain the proper keys and security clearance to conduct this inspection.Building systems such as mechanical equipment should be shut down prior to torch use. Often work is conducted at night or during the weekends. Get this clarified prior to signing a contract to do the work.Never turn on the building’s mechanical equipment before a proper fire watch has been conducted as this might feed the fire with oxygen.Make sure that a location to properly store the propane cylinders is agreed upon by the owner and that at the end of each day the equipment is safely secured.