fire watch

Fire Watch Duties and Procedures

Fires in the United States claim thousands of lives and cost billions of dollars every year. In recent years, both lives and dollars lost trended upward. If you own a building, it’s your responsibility to ensure that it’s appropriately monitored for fires.

Save money and lives with a fire watch.

What is a fire watch? What are fire watch services and procedures?

Keep reading for more information about this vital service.

What Is a Fire Watch?

A fire watch is when a trained professional sits watch over a construction site, building, or large gathering. Fire watch procedures are set in place when necessary to monitor the safety situation. It’s important the fire watch professionals know the fire watch regulations when overseeing the safety and security of a building.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

The NFPA Life Safety Code sets the standards for a fire watch. There are four reasons a property owner may require a fire watch. As a building owner, make sure you know the reasons for a fire watch and the fire watch procedures.

Impaired Fire Alarm, Sprinkler, or Fire Suppression System

Impairment of your fire alarm, sprinkler, or fire suppression system calls for the added security of a fire watch. Did a pipe rupture? Is there planned maintenance that needs a system shutdown?

It doesn’t matter why your system is down, this is the time for a fire watch. When your system is down, your building and people are vulnerable to fire. Make sure you know the local fire protection standards.

Performing Hot Work

Are you doing cutting, welding, or other hot work in the building? This is any work that uses a flame or causes sparks. Hot work in an auto body shop caused a major fire in Colorado in 2017 leading to the destruction of three businesses.

In the case of hot work, always ensure you’ve got a fire watch during the activity and for at least a half-hour after completion of the work.

Demolition of Construction

Construction fires cause over $300 million dollars in damages a year. Because of the raw materials on-site, construction fires grow out of control fast. The local authority can order a fire watch during construction, especially during nonworking hours and when the construction is over 40 feet in height.

Demolition is another concern for local authorities since incendiary devices are often used to demolish a building.

Large Crowds During Public Affairs

Public affairs such as Secure Area require a fire watch. In 2003, the Station Nightclub fire was a tragedy that took over 100 lives. Local authorities and fire codes require a fire watch for crowd protection during general assemblies.

Fire watch personnel keep watch for fires but they also watch for obstruction of exits and other hazards. It’s a fire watch officer’s duty to take prompt measures to correct hazards and assist in evacuation if necessary.

Fire Watch: An Important Duty

As a building owner or manager, a fire watch is one of your most important responsibilities. If you’re in charge, you want trained fire watch personnel for the task.

Are you in need of personnel for a fire watch? At Guards On Call, we offer only the best!

Call us today for all your fire watch and security needs.

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