Hot Work Guidelines and Permit Process


Hot Work is any operation including cutting, welding, thermite welding, brazing, soldering (except soldering electronics or electrical components using an electric soldering iron, gun or solder pot), grinding, thermal spraying, thawing pipe, installation of torch-applied roof systems or any other similar situation. 

Hot Work is often associated with new construction, repair, remodeling, maintenance or other facility or equipment alterations.  Outside contractors and vendors are of particular concern since they are usually not familiar with campus buildings, equipment and processes and therefore the risk of fire increases substantially.  Some examples:  Sparks in the presence of flammable vapors can cause spontaneous fire or explosion; smoldering material hidden from sight can burst into flame well after work has been completed and personnel have left the area; heat produced by Hot Work on one side of a wall can ignite combustible material on the other side.


Purchase College requires all employees of the College and any contractors to be permitted before the start of any Hot Work on the campus.  This includes both interior and exterior work.  

Permitting Process

  • Members of the Facilities Management Group (FMG), the Capital Facilities Planning (CFP) Department or other personnel familiar with a project’s work scope must determine whether any planned activity involves Hot Work. 
  • The supervisor (Purchase College supervisor or outside contractor), the technical coordinator, or the person in charge of the project most knowledgeable about the work scope is responsible for requesting a Hot Work Permit. 
  • Hot Work Permits will be issued by the Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) Department.   Authorized FMG and CFP personnel may also issue Hot Work permits as needed.
  • A request for a Hot Work permit should be made at least two business days before the Hot Work is scheduled to begin to ensure that a permit issuer will be available.  Remember, work cannot commence until a properly executed Hot Work Permit is in place.
  • The Hot Work Required Precautions Checklist on the reverse of the Permit form shall be used.  The following items are included in the pre-task planning inspection:
    • Status of fire detection and suppression system equipment.
    • Arc welding equipment - the condition of welding leads, cables and grounding.  Absence of standing water.
    • Gas welding equipment - the condition of hoses, regulators and torches.  Properly secured and labeled gas cylinders.  Presence of flash back arrestors to prevent the propagation of a flame upstream.
    • Hot Work site clear of combustibles or combustibles are protected.
    • Exposed construction is of noncombustible materials or, if combustible, it shall be protected.
    • Floor and wall openings are protected.
    • Floors are kept clean.
    • No exposed combustibles are located on the opposite side of partitions, walls, ceilings, or floors.
    • Fire watches, where required, are assigned by the requesting supervisor.
    • Approved actions have been taken to prevent accidental activation of suppression and detection equipment.
    • Fire extinguisher(s) within 30 feet of the work area are provided and are operable.
  • At the start of the Hot Work, the permit issuer shall walk the project to ensure all necessary controls are in place.
  • If required controls are not in place then the work cannot begin.
  • An important condition to consider is the duration of the project.  In cases where a project will take more than one day to complete, and that work is repetitive in nature, utilizes the same controls, and is performed at the same location, the Permit Expiration date can span the entire length of the project.   
  • In the event conditions change or unforeseen circumstance arise, the Permit in place shall be cancelled, the work and controls shall be reevaluated, and a new Permit issued.
  • Once all controls are verified, approval can be granted.
  • The Hot Work permit is to be posted or otherwise available at the work site. 
  • After the job is complete, the form is returned to the EH&S Department where it will remain on file for at least one year. 
  • The Hot Work Permit form is provided under the Forms and Permits section of the EHS web page. 

Fire Watch

Unless the Hot Work Site Pre-Inspection has determined that there is no fire hazard or combustible exposure at the Hot Work site, a fire watch must be maintained.  The fire watch maintains a constant work site vigilance in all exposed areas, looking for the occurrence of fire or other hazardous situations that could develop.  They shall attempt to extinguish only fires that are within their capability and the capacity of the equipment available.  In any case, they must sound an alarm.

The fire watch must begin before Hot Work commences and be maintained at least 30 minutes after Hot Work ceases to detect and extinguish fires.  The issuer of the Hot Work Permit may extend the fire watch beyond 30 minutes based on the hazards present or the work being performed.  Special consideration must be given to Hot Work performed on roof structures.  The Permit duration for this type of work will need to be increased to 60 minutes.  In any event, the fire watch must be maintained until any actions taken to prevent the accidental activation of fire detection or suppression systems have been removed and the systems restored to normal.

The fire watch shall include the entire Hot Work area.  Hot Work conducted in areas with vertical or horizontal fire exposures that are not observable by a single individual shall have additional personnel assigned to fire watches to ensure that exposed areas are monitored.

Individuals assigned to fire watch duty shall have fire extinguishing equipment readily available and shall be trained in the use of such equipment.  Individuals assigned to fire watch duty shall be responsible for extinguishing spot fires and communicating an alarm by calling (914)251-6911.

The individuals responsible for performing the Hot Work shall also be trained in the use of portable fire extinguishers.

Where fire hose lines have been specified, they shall be connected, charged and ready for operation.

A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher rating shall be readily accessible within 30 feet of the location where Hot Work is performed. The size of the project and specifics of the area shall determine the fire extinguisher size.

Exemptions from the Hot Work Permitting Process

Exemptions from the Hot Work permitting process are made for certain areas/operations  either because Hot Work is performed on a regular basis and the areas have been inspected and found suitable for that work, or in the event of an emergency.  Hot work may be performed without following this permitting process when the following conditions are met:

  • Facilities Vehicle Repair Shop – entire shop exempted
  • Facilities Grounds Shop – only center of shop and concrete area in front of shop are exempted
  • Natural Science Building Shop A (0005-0009) – sink and areas around grinders
  • Natural Science Building – Bunsen burners, alcohol burners, small propane torches, etc. used for laboratory experiments on laboratory benches and inside hoods

Emergency Work

In event of an emergency where time constraints require an immediate repair, any FMG supervisor may authorize Hot Work if the following conditions are met:

  • The supervisor is confident in the ability of the persons performing the Hot Work to perform it safely.
  • All conditions specified on the Hot Work Permit are met.
  • Appropriate Hot Work safety provisions identified elsewhere in this document (e.g. availability of fire extinguisher, fire watch, etc.) are followed
  • If during normal business hours (8 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday except holidays), notification is made to the Associate Director, Environmental Health & Safety.
  • An email detailing the date, time, location, and nature of the Hot Work planned for other than normal business hours is sent to the person listed below no later than the first business day after the Hot Work is performed.

For Hot Work Permit issuance, contact:

Louis Wirtz – Associate Director, Environmental Health & Safety


Telephone:  914-251-6022


Revised:  March 27, 2024