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A fire watch is a person assigned to observe an area to ensure there are no hazards or fire, while the fire system is down. A fire watch must be performed while the building is occupied. In commercial buildings, a fire watch must be conducted even if there is only one person in the building. In multifamily residential buildings, a fire watch must be conducted 24 hours a day.
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Fire systems such as fire alarms and sprinklers are designed to ensure the safety of occupants. When a system is not working properly, as a temporary measure, the Fire Marshal may allow a fire watch. This is to allow for the building to remain in use and occupants safe, while the system is down.
As fire systems are such a vital feature for life safety, and a failure to perform fire watch is a fire code violation, there is a daily fine of $405 in cases where the watch is not conducted correctly or concluded prior to Fire Marshal approval. Please be advised that only the Fire Marshal can cancel a fire watch.
- Intentional Impairments: contact our office at 425-806-6250 to receive a Fire Watch Order at least 24 hours in advance.- Unintentional Impairments/Malfunctioning Fire System: Complete the bottom portion of the Fire Watch Order and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A designated person whose only purpose is to perform constant patrols of the affected area to detect and notify the fire department of fire hazards. Fire watch cannot be done by someone performing any other functions. Many businesses choose to contract with a security agency to perform the functions of a fire watch. Fire Watches are not conducted by the Fire Department.
The monitoring should be constant and one entry should be made on the log at least every half hour. The logs must be emailed to email@example.com daily to indicate the watch is being performed.
- A fire watch is required when a fire system is out of service. Examples are emergency phone line outages causing lack of monitoring communications, when systems are intentionally impaired or taken offline for construction work or when plumbing work calls for the need to drain sprinkler lines.- During hot work activities, including 30 minutes after the conclusion of the work unless the hot work area has no fire hazards or combustible exposure. There are additional requirements related to hot works as defined by the International Fire Code, please contact the Fire Marshal’s office.-During demolition of a building or building construction during working hours that is hazardous in nature.- Some gatherings may require a fire watch due to the nature of the activity. Examples include bonfires, pyrotechnic displays and gatherings of such size or limited access that impairs the firefighters’ abilities.
- Intentional Impairments: contact our office at 425-806-6250 to receive authorization to conclude the watch.- Unintentional Impairments/Malfunctioning Fire System: once the contractor has completed repairs, a repair report downloaded from The Compliance Engine must be emailed to the Fire Prevention Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for review.
Please be advised that a fire watch can only be cancelled by the Fire Marshal. Concluding a fire watch prematurely is a fire code violation and carries a fine of $405 per day.