“I worked with SRC during a two-year School renovation project. The project was a 100-year-old school building that was a masonry and wood structure, and the main concern other than vandalism and theft was fire. SRC did an outstanding job assisting us with that concern. SRC did Fire Watch service with the security services and helped us ensure that the historic landmark was preserved and renovated back to its original grandeur.” -Dave Killian, Senior Superintendent, Skanska USA Inc., Stadium High School Project, Tacoma, WA
The following information is provided by the City of Seattle Fire Department to clarify the requirements for a fire watch (SFD Information Bulletin #991). A fire watch is the action of an on-site person whose sole duty is to watch for the occurrence of fire.
If a fire protection system fails, or there are an excessive number of accidental activations or nuisance alarms, a building owner (or their representative) may be required by the Fire Department to provide a fire watch until the system is repaired. Personnel to conduct the fire watch are determined by the building owner. Note: A professional security company is not required.
A fire watch is also required whenever fire protection systems are in a trouble or a supervisory mode for more than eight hours. A nuisance alarm is defined as “any alarm caused by mechanical failure, malfunction, improper installation, or lack of proper maintenance, or any alarm activated by a cause that cannot be determined.” (2002 NFPA 72, 3.3.5-1)
Personnel serving as fire watch have the following duties:
NOTE: The fire watch will not perform fire-fighting duties beyond the scope of the ordinary citizen.
Fire watch personnel should patrol the entire facility every 15 minutes in the following situations:
Occupied facilities that do not meet the requirements for a 15-minute patrol frequency should have a fire watch patrol every 30 minutes.
A fire watch log should be maintained at the facility. The log must be available to the Fire Department at all times during the fire watch. The log should show the following:
It is the owner’s responsibility to cancel the fire watch once the fire protection system has been fully restored. Once the fire watch has been cancelled, the owner or representatives must notify the monitoring company, the local Fire Company and the Fire Marshal’s Office. For Additional information about fire protection systems or confidence testing of systems, contact the Fire Department Confidence Testing Unit.