Fire Watch: Who needs it and when?
Anyone could be required to mount a Fire Watch. There are generally two possible reasons you need to mount a fire watch at your
business. One, if your business includes welding or cutting with torches, a fire watch is required by OSHA.
Two, if your business has a fire alarm system or sprinkler system that is not working for any reason, you need to post a fire watch until it is again functioning
properly. Fire Watch is an active surveillance mission to save lives and property. The OSHA working safety requirements mean that any place where welding in
being done, or where cutting with torches takes place, (“hot work”) must have firewatchers on the job. The firewatchers keep alert for any stray sparks that
could cause a fire, protecting the people who work in the area and the facility itself. Fire Watchers must continuously patrol the areas where welding, riveting,
grinding, or torch cutting takes place, or any place where sparks are generated. They must know the building or site they are working in, where the hot work is
being performed and the procedure for sounding an alarm if a fire is found. The need to check all stairwells Their patrol is required to continue for 30 minutes
after the “hot work” has stopped. As staff on the scene, Fire Watchers must make rounds in their designated areas every 30 minutes. They also must be able to tackle a fire at its beginning, with the fire-fighting equipment provided to them. That is usually something like fire extinguishers or hoses. If a fire can’t be quickly put out, Fire Watchers also need to know the way to
sound the fire alarm on site, and summon emergency services such as fire or rescue if needed.