Dependable Fire Watch Service in the Greater Seattle Area
Fire protection systems can fail, often resulting in an excessive number of accidental activations or nuisance alarms to the Fire Department. When this happens, building managers may be required by the Fire Department to provide a fire watch while the system is being repaired. A fire watch is the action of an on-site person whose sole duty is to watch for the occurrence of fire. The City of Seattle Fire Department clarifies the requirements for a fire watch in SFD Information Bulletin #991, and SRC Private Security provides highly trained and experienced personnel to perform this important safety service.
Fire Watch Requirements
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) A fire watch is required whenever fire protection systems are in a ‘trouble’ or supervisory mode for more than eight hours, at which time property managers must establish a fire watch for safety purposes.
While Hiring a Professional Security Company is not Required, Owners’ Fire Watch Responsibilities Include:
- Establish, instruct and maintain fire watch personnel.
- Notify the monitoring company.
- Notify the Fire Marshal’s Office that the fire protection system is not working, and again when it has been repaired. Call the Confidence Testing Unit.
- Contact the repair company to repair the fire protection system(s).
- If a Notice of Violation has been written, contact the local Fire Company when the system has been repaired. Their phone number will be on the Notice of Violation, and they can be reached during normal business hours.
Personnel Standing Fire Watch Have the Following Duties:
- Conduct periodic patrols of the entire facility as specified.
- Identify any fire, life or property hazards.
- Notify the Fire Department if a fire is discovered by calling 9-1-1 with the exact address and type of emergency.
- Notify occupants of the facility of the need to evacuate. If the sirens or public address function of the alarm system is still functional, use them to assist with the evacuation of the building.
- Determine at least one means of direct communication with the Fire Department. A telephone is acceptable.
- Maintain a log of fire watch activities.
- Have knowledge of the location and use of its fire protection equipment, such as fire extinguishers.
- In A, R, I and E occupancies, fire watch personnel cannot have other duties besides their assigned fire watch unless the Fire Department designates other duties.
NOTE: The fire watch will not perform fire-fighting duties beyond the scope of the ordinary citizen.
Frequency of Inspections
Fire watch personnel should patrol the entire facility every 15 minutes in the following situations:
- The facility contains sleeping people.
- The facility is an institutional occupancy.
- The facility is an occupied assembly or educational occupancy.
- 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 and be available to the Fire Department at all times during the fire watch. The log should show the following:
- Address of the facility.
- Times that the patrol has completed each tour of the facility.
- Name of the person conducting the fire watch.
- Record of the communication(s) to the Fire Department and monitoring company.
- Record of other information as directed by Fire Department personnel.
- Cancellation of fire watch
It is the facility owner’s responsibility to cancel the fire watch once the fire protection system has been fully restored. 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.
- The 2003 Seattle Fire Code 1404.5 – Fire Safety During Construction and Demolition.
- The 2003 Seattle Fire Code 901.7 – Systems Out of Service.
- 2002 NFPA 72
- The 2003 Seattle Fire Department Administrative Rule 9.06.04 – Out-of-Service Fire Alarm, Standpipe, Fire Sprinkler and Emergency Alarm Systems.
Experienced & Reliable Fire Watch Services
Serving Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Issaquah, Kent, Renton, Burien, Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Everett, Woodinville, Bothell, Mill Creek, Snohomish, Lake Stevens, Monroe, Granite Falls & Marysville