The Basics of Fire Watch Guards

Fire Watch Guards are highly on-site protective functions performed by specially qualified guards. Services typically consist of:
The goal of fire watch guards is to prevent accidental fires from occurring. A patrol may be called for a variety of reasons, such as to investigate suspicious activity, or to respond to an emergency. When the patrol is called, the guard will assess the situation and prepare a detailed report based on the information he has gathered. The patrol will then meet with the designated fire prevention specialist to discuss the fire watch guard services required. The specialist then determines the best method to provide services, whether that means having a company representative to serve the public, or calling in an expert. Ultimately, the selected provider will select a crew and method of operation that meet both the department’s and the fire watch guard’s needs.

Fire watch guards perform multiple tasks during their shifts, protecting both employees and property. On a typical shift, the entire guard staff performs all of the following duties: patrolling, supervising, and controlling the operations of emergency exits, protecting the property and personnel of the facility, and reporting any suspicious fires or emergencies. Throughout the day, fire watch guards may also execute extra duties in an effort to keep all staff members safe.
Fire watch teams consist of one or more patrol officers and an assigned fire safety technician. Depending on the severity of the fire threat, the designated safety technician may need to initiate alarms or command patrols. Fire watch guards often work in tandem with other firefighters, responding to emergency calls in neighborhoods and communities. Fire watch teams are typically assigned to monitor high-risk or dangerous areas. While some jurisdictions allow for one-man patrols, most will require patrol units to respond to all emergency calls.
Each fire watch guard has the option to wear standard fire fighting gear. Fire watch guards may also be provided uniforms or firefighting gear that is custom-designed to fit their individual needs. In some cases, the patrol officer and fire safety technician will work in teams to supplement the single patrol officer. In other instances, the fire watch guard will perform patrol duties alone. Either way, each member of the team is provided with the proper fire fighting equipment so they are prepared to respond to any emergency calls.
Fire watch guards must be qualified through a number of training courses and extensive classes. Most state law requires all patrol units to undergo some type of training and certification in fire prevention and safety. Fire watch guard training courses can last from a few days to a few weeks. Often, fire safety courses incorporate classroom sessions, hazard communication, fire equipment demonstration, and physical exercise to strengthen the individual’s abilities as a team leader and safety technician. Ultimately, becoming a certified safety guard involves a number of strenuous hours of classroom learning and on the job training. Fire watch guards complete a short re-training session after every two years of service to ensure continued success.