Depending on the requirements of a state, most often business owners or administrators would have to hire an independent fire watch guard for the property they own. Fire watch guards ought to be on-site always to secure the entire property and monitor that all the alarms are working properly. The number of guards is usually dependent on the size of the business enterprise, its location, number of employees and the average annual number of fires that occur in the region. You can also have as many guards as you want, though a minimum number of guards will help prevent needless losses and damage to the building.
There is usually a fire marshal assigned to oversee the fire watch guards. The fire marshal is in charge of making sure that all the necessary safety equipment is present on the premises and has the proper numbers. He also checks on the proper implementation of emergency procedures within the premises. He ensures that the alarm system has been installed properly, which is imperative to ensure maximum protection of the people and property inside the premises.
If you decide to hire on-site fire watch guards, it is best to know beforehand what specific duties are assigned to each individual guard and how often he would be deployed. It is helpful if you would have a ranking system for the guards, starting with the captain or senior officer. In addition to duty and patrol duty, the guard may be required to supervise the installation of fire drills, training drills and refresher courses. If the guard works on a full-time basis, it is also helpful to establish the amount of overtime he would have to work. You may also want to establish what the minimum number of hours he has to devote per week to the duty.
Many states require security guards and other on-call personnel to undergo an initial 8-hour training session to qualify for employment. Most state law requires that these on-call personnel are adequately trained in basic first aid procedures and obtain certification in the use of fire extinguishers. There are some states that require their on-call personnel to be trained and certified in the use of pepper spray as well. It is important for fire watch guards to be properly trained and to obtain the proper certifications so that they can provide their customers with safe and effective service.
Another way to make sure that you get the best services from your fire watch guards and security officers is by checking with your local fire department to identify the best agencies and the most competent individuals to hire. The officers should have experience and be licensed according to your state law. It may also be helpful to contact your city government and inquire about fire watch officers and departments as well as the best agencies to contact for your particular needs.
The fire Marshall is the chief fire officer and is responsible for making necessary decisions to protect public safety. He or she has the responsibility for investigating a fire, locating victims, and transporting them to the appropriate hospitals. The fire Marshall is also responsible for ensuring that all employees are safe during a fire and that any medical conditions of those involved are handled efficiently. Fire watch guards and safety officers can provide a number of safety services but if the agency you choose does not meet the aforementioned criteria, you may want to consider hiring a different provider for your fire watch services.