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Fire Watch Officer Duties & Responsibilities

This information is provided to clarify the requirements for a fire watch. A fire watch is the action of an on-site person whose sole responsibility is to watch for the occurrence of fire.

Table of Contents

Part A – Fire Watch Duties

Persons serving as a fire watch cannot have any other duties except the fire watch. Fire watch duties will consist of the following: 

  1. Conduct periodic patrols of the affected areas. 
  2. Identify any fire, signs of fire, life or property hazards. 
  3. Knowledge of building floor layout, hazardous areas, emergency shutdown procedures, emergency evacuation plan, etc. 
  4. Check all exits and exit access corridors to ensure means of egress are clear and unobstructed. 
  5. Check sprinkler system valves are in the open position, if applicable. 
  6. Check for any smoking violations or other sources of ignition. 
  7. The fire watch must have at least one means of direct communication with the Fire Department. ( a cell phone is acceptable) 
  8. If a fire is discovered, the fire watch must first notify the Fire Department immediately by calling 9-1-1 and give the exact address and location of the fire. 
  9. The fire watch personnel must then notify occupants of the need to evacuate. If the fire alarm horns or public address system are still functional, use them to notify occupants. If appliances are not functional, then other means of notification must be available (i.e., bull horns). 
  10. Have knowledge of the location and use of fire protection equipment, such as fire extinguishers and occupant hose lines. (The fire watch will not perform firefighting duties beyond the scope of ordinary citizens
  11. Maintain a logbook of fire watch activity.

Part B – Frequency of Patrol

Fire watch personnel shall patrol the entire area affected every 30 minutes. In large buildings, additional fire watch personnel shall be assigned in order to achieve the required frequency.

Part C – Record Keeping

A fire watch logbook must be maintained at the building. The logbook must be available to the Fire Department at all times during the fire watch. The logbook should contain the following information: 

  1. Address of the building. 
  2. Date and time of each patrol through the affected area. 
  3. Name of person(s) conducting fire watch with copy of security guard license. 
  4. Records of communications with the Fire Department and licensed contractor doing the repairs. 
  5. Other information as required by the Fire Department. (i.e., equipment, inspection logbooks)
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