The Importance of Fire Watch for New Construction

building on fire
Fire watch is an essential part of protecting your new construction. During development or restoration, there is a heightened risk of fire that can jeopardize the safety of surrounding communities and pose the risk of physical harm and structural damage. Even a small fire could result in life-threatening injuries, thousands of dollars in damages, delayed construction schedules, missed deadlines, and environmental destruction. Prevention is the most critical precautionary step for any new construction or renovation project. Rather than only thinking about what you may do in undesirable circumstances, you can hire a professional fire watch security team to ensure you never have to deal with the damages of a sudden and devastating fire.

What is a Fire Watch?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) defines fire watch as assigning one or more of the following tasks:
  • Preventing a fire from occurring
  • Notifying the fire department and building occupants of a fire emergency
  • Extinguishing small fires 
  • Protecting others from fire or safety hazards

In new constructions, hiring professional fire watch security can give you and anyone on the property peace of mind. When buildings have been recently built or are in the process of being restored, there is a higher risk of fire that needs additional precautions.

Why New Construction May Need Fire Watch

There are several reasons why hiring fire watch guards is beneficial during the new construction or restoration phase of a building.

Fire Systems Are Not Currently Active

During new construction, there is a period when there are no alarms, sprinklers, suppression systems, or detectors in place. During this time, the building is at an increased risk of fire and an even greater risk of a fire going undetected for a prolonged period. Legally, buildings with any occupants will also need a fire watch to be present when systems are not operational due to construction work.  Fire watch will ensure that everyone on site is always protected. Even buildings not currently occupied will be safer with professional fire watch actively watching for and preventing fire outbreaks.

Leading and Welding Are Being Performed

Any work involving combustion and producing sparks increases the risk of fire. Having a fire watch in place can ensure that proper preventative measures are taken at all times and that you are legally compliant by having a fire watch guard present for at least 30 minutes after any such work is performed.  Suppose there is any combustible material in the parameter of the grinding, welding, or leading being done. In that case, buildings must have a fire watch guard present. In addition to protecting your property and shielding yourself from liability, you can help avoid injury and loss from occurring.

Requirements for New Construction, Renovations, or Demolition

The NFPA mandates fire watch during non-working hours for any construction project taller than 40 feet or any construction site with an aggregate area larger than 50,000 square feet. These projects are big enough to threaten the community, and they require professionally trained fire watch personnel to ensure that no flames break out when workers are not onsite. The NFPA requires fire watch staff to be trained for their roles; they must be able to perform thorough, consistent patrols and know how to operate portable fire extinguishers properly.  The personnel must also keep a record of their duty and log each time a patrol takes place and when building structures are inspected. This ensures they can provide valid documentation to fire code officials upon request.

Who Can Perform a Fire Watch?

To comply with the fire code, fire watch must be performed by certified, trained personnel. Fire watch staff must also have limited responsibilities; they are hired solely to patrol the area, prevent fires, and respond to emergencies. Professional security companies that offer fire watch personnel are ideal for several reasons. First, they ensure that anyone who works on your site is fully trained, background checked, and authorized to perform their roles. Second, they offer the additional layer of protection of a fully insured established business. Third, they understand local and national fire codes to ensure your fire watch personnel are appropriately assigned and dispatched based on your needs.

Hire Fire Watch Personnel Today

Contact our team at Silbar Security to learn more about how our professionally trained security guards can help protect your new construction or renovation project from fire. We provide top-of-the-line training to all of our staff with law enforcement-level standards. When it comes to Silbar Security, you can trust the job will be done well.

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