Fire Watch Information: Tips on How to Perform a Fire Watch
When performing a fire watch, there are certain things to consider when a fire marshal asks you to give them a fire watch for your building. These fire watches are easy to follow, and many people do not consider them or take them seriously. Even so, it is mandatory and should not be taken lightly. Once you understand the concept, it will be easy to do and deal with for you to stay on the safe side.
How to Perform a Fire Watch?
Typically, a fire watch can be conducted and needs one or more persons qualified enough to perform the fire watch. These are the steps on how to take precautions when running a fire watch:
- Keeping a rigorous eye for fires
- Avoiding sources that may ignite fires
- Make sure there is a fair amount of egress
- Removal of obstructions to escape where possible
- Rectifying hazards found immediately
- Make sure the fire department unit is contacted
- Using a fire extinguisher or hose to extinguish any fires caused
- Warning and alerting the inhabitants of the area about severe danger and conditions that need evacuation.
Organizing a Fire Watch
There should be a system where the fire watch should repeatedly surround the entire building while also ensuring you have the correct amount of time to schedule a proper fire watch. There is only one case in which only the part of the building exposed to the fire needs to be surveilled, and that is when there is hot work taking place. Keeping an eye on the fire watch taking place is one thing that needs to be considered when being organized for the fire watch. Fire watch rules and administration depend from city to city and certain officials. Vacating the building during an outage is another option that could be taken but is not a favored choice. But if that’s what the fire marshal wants you to do, you are going to have to do it.
It is worth noting that the responsibilities of a fire watcher do not get over with just occupying sections of a building. The fire watchers should also check for empty rescue spaces, storage rooms, and hidden places.
It is the responsibility of the Fire Extinguishing Department Unit to train the fire watchers and make them understand and learn the hazards that are caused in the area. For example, when it comes to hot works, the fire watchers need to have the authorization to halt the hot work in case of hazardous conditions taking place. The fire watchers must also be trained to fill out log sheets as specific codes need complete documented activities involved with a fire watch.
It is vital for the fire watchers to learn and understand the events that may occur by fire response and alarms and they should know the whereabouts of manual fire alarm stations. The fire watchers must undergo proper training before handling particular safety and emergency equipment. If it is feasible to deal with the fire and extinguish it with the available equipment, the fire watchers can do this at the appropriate time and place.
The necessary authorities can charge fines or evacuate buildings under certain fire watch conditions if failure to understand and comply with the guidelines.
Fire Watch: Who Can Do It?
The people who can perform a fire watch are those who are entirely aware of the entire building and its premises and have the authorization to access the building and its sections and areas. This is essential as it plays a big role in order for you to perform your duties efficiently. Formal and accurate training is needed to be undertaken by individuals to be able to use fire extinguishers and other equipment for fire protection. Fire watchers should fully understand safety plans, procedures, and similar.
Although it may be less time-consuming and cost less by employing your building staff or employees to do Fire Watch Security in addition to the work they are already doing and assigned with, it has its ups and downs. The pros are that you get to pay less upfront and your fire watchers are those whom you already know and are trustworthy. But, then again, even though the cost is relatively low, the professional help you can receive from an outside company varies as it has top-notch equipment and gear and is extremely professional in the work they deliver. In the end, it’s your call. Either choose someone you know or hire a professional. We would advise hiring a professional who genuinely knows what he’s doing just to be on the safe and precautionary side.