If the fire marshal orders you to hire fire watch guards for your building, you may quickly start to feel overwhelmed. Fire watch services are commonly misunderstood and overlooked as a fire prevention technique. However, the truth is, these services are vital and implementing one doesn’t need to be a hassle.
In this article, we’ll discuss when a fire watch is needed and what this service provides to your building in your time of need.
When Would I Be Required to Hire Fire Watch Services?
There are a handful of reasons why you may be required to employ the services of a fire watch company including:
- Broken or malfunctioning fire alarm, fire sprinkler, or fire suppression system: If your fire alert system is out of order for more than four hours in 24 hours, you are required by law to implement a fire watch. Be sure to check with your local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) to ensure you’re adhering to local requirements as they may be more stringent.
- Hot work being performed in the building: Hot work includes; welding, torch use, or any other flame and/or spark-producing activity. This is particularly relevant in building sites.
- Large events or dense crowds: Any area that has a large gathering of people can create a fire hazard and safety concerns. Fire watch services are required to protect the crowd from the dangers of flames in a crowded, condensed area.
How Do I Hire a Fire Watch Company?
Hiring a fire watch company that you can rely on is important for many reasons. First, you need highly trained and skilled guards to keep a vigilant eye on your property to protect it.
You may be tempted to use some of your regular employees as fire guards, however, this is not advisable as they do not have the proper training and expertise to execute properly and most securely. There are trained and certified fire watch guards available, on-call 24/7 for your fire watch needs.
It’s important to keep in mind that since most situations that require a fire watch are emergent in nature, the cost to hire professional guards will likely be more than if the event was planned. That being said, the price you’ll pay to hire expert guards is a small price to pay when you consider the potential consequences your building could suffer without them.
When Will the Fire Watch be Terminated?
The answer to this question will depend on the reason for the watch in the first place. If you hired a watch for an alarm system outage, you should be able to excuse the guards as soon as the system is safety restored and tested.
For hot work watches, it’s common for fire guards to remain on duty for at least 30 minutes following completion of the hot work project. As always, be sure to check your local regulations to see what requirements apply to your situation. Remember, you can never be too careful when it comes to the threat of a deadly fire.