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Fire Watch
Fire Watch Protocol
If you own a business that is protected by a fire sprinkler system and the sprinkler system is damaged and inoperable for any length of time, you are responsible to notify the fire department and initiate a fire watch.

Q:    What is a fire watch?
A:    A fire watch consists of:

        1.    Regular patrols by qualified personnel;
        2.    Notification to the West Allis Fire Department at (414) 302-8900;
        3.    Clearly identified, established and verified means of communication to 
               report an emergency and initiate evacuation of the building;
        4.    Documentation of the fire watch detail, to include: dates, times, 
               personnel names and signatures of those assigned to the fire watch.

Q:    What is a "qualified" person?
A:    In order to be qualified and designated to be a fire watch, fire watch 
       personnel should be trained annually in the following:

        1.    Fire extinguisher procedures;
        2.    Procedures for reporting an emergency;
        3.    Evacuation procedures;
        4.    Knowledge of the building and the various rooms contained within the 
        5.    Fire awareness and recognition of obvious hazards to life and property;
        6.    Use/business specific safety policies and procedures.    

Q:    What are the duties of personnel on fire watch?
A:    Personnel providing a fire watch shall perform the following duties:

        1.    Determine at least one (1) means of direct communication with the fire 
        2.    Conduct periodic patrols of the entire facility;
        3.    Maintain a log of fire watch activities;
        4.    Have a good working knowledge of the fire protection equipment 
               available and be trained in how to use them, including fire 
        5.    Identify any fire, life safety or property hazards and report them by 
               contacting 9-1-1 and stating the type of emergency and exact 
        6.    If the building is occupied, notify all occupants to evacuate.  If the 
               sirens or public address systems are operational, use them to assist 
               with the evacuation of the building;
        7.    Personnel performing a fire watch cannot have any other duties other 
               than the fire watch;
        8.    Personnel performing the fire watch will not perform any firefighting 
               duties beyond the scope of the ordinary citizen.

Q:    How often do we need to do a fire watch?
A:    Fire watch personnel shall patrol the entire facility every 15 minutes when:

        1.    The facility has people sleeping in it;
        2.    The facility is an institutional occupancy;
        3.    The facility is an assembly occupancy.

All other facilities shall have fire watch personnel patrol the facility every 30 minutes.  This shall be further clarified that each physical area of the facility shall be physically inspected on 30-minute intervals.  Therefore, if the facility is too large to be patrolled by one (1) person within a 30-minute time frame, additional personnel shall be required.

Please review the  Fire Watch Informational Overview brochure and print out a sample Fire Watch Log Sheet for your use.

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