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Fire Watch Services

Fire Watch Services are typically tasked as an initial response to an emergency fire. These protective guards are used as a temporary structure where the guard is charged with basic patrol to personally check and inspect the entire premises for any potential or existing fire hazards (real fires). The primary role of the fire watch service is to protect lives, to ensure the safety of the public and to enforce fire safety codes at all facilities deemed to be in need of such protection. To be a fire watch service, there are a number of pre-requisites that must be met before officially joining the organization.

The primary requirement is of course the enlistment of personnel. In many countries and jurisdictions, the law requires fire watch services to have at least one member with a relevant level of fire fighting skills and experience. These include guards who are certified in various aspects of fire fighting from extinguishing a small fire to full evacuation drills. Usually, members of such teams are selected based on their practical experience as well as on the skills they can demonstrate during patrol.
A second requirement that must be met by any organization that wishes to take part in fire watch services is that the officers and/or guards must have undergone basic fire hazard training. This type of training usually lasts between six to twelve weeks and is offered through approved fire protection organizations. The program usually involves learning about the hazards posed by specific types of fires and how to best combat them. Some of the specific fire hazards include electrical fires, gas leaks, combustible solids, flammable vapors, toxic gases, light and heat sources and harmful biohazard materials such as biological weapons, infectious disease and food products. Other firefighting skills that are reinforced through training are those of the emergency medical service personnel who may arrive on the scene in the case of emergencies.
Fire watch services usually need the help of a professional fire watch guard who has been trained and certified by one of the organizations that provide this type of training. These organizations train their officers and/or guards on a yearly basis in fire safety and prevention, fire watch management and execution, and the use of fire watch equipment. A professional fire watch guard will be a member of the local fire watch team, which usually consists of several firemen and/or emergency medical service personnel. He or she will be responsible for implementing the fire watch services and for ensuring that the necessary fire watch regulations are being observed by his or her department.
Each state has its own specific laws regarding fire watch services and the officers and/or guards employed to implement them. However, most states require the firewalls to be installed at the main entrance points of commercial and multi-family residences. Commercial premises, such as office buildings, restaurants and bars, are generally required to install these types of firewalls at their main entrance points. State law requires these establishments to post a sign indicating that they are on a state-approved fire watch service. Private residences that are not on state property may choose to post a sign indicating that they are on fire watch, but they are not necessarily required to do so.
Fire watch security guards can also be employed at airports, train stations, power plants and any other public water systems that are involved with the transportation of hazardous materials. In many states, the fire department is responsible for making sure that there are adequate firefighting equipment on site to respond to emergency situations. These same agencies are also responsible for the maintenance of the on-site firefighting equipment. Some states require that these employees have been certified in the use of firefighting equipment and receive licenses and certification to carry firearms. Fire watch services are an important component of airport fire safety because they help to ensure that employees using the water system are fully functional and alert.