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07 Jun 2021

What Does a Fire Watch Security Guard Do?

A fire watch security guard is always doing double duty. Their primary role is to be a security guard, while their second duty is to protect people and establishments from unwanted fires. 

Unlike a regular security guard who patrols through crowds and shopping centres, a fire watch security guard undergoes mandatory training where they can act as a first responder just in case a fire breaks out in the location they are assigned to. 

Since fires spread within seconds and damage properties very quickly, fire watch security guards have to be alert at all times. They are tasked to prevent damages on properties and save people. That’s why Vancouver-based security companies who employ fire watch security guards have to put them through specialized fire prevention training to effectively do their job. 

 

Let’s take a look at 12 of the most important things that fire watch security guards do to protect the community. 

1. Evacuate People from a Location

If a fire breaks out at a particular location, the assigned fire watch security guard has to act fast and help evacuate people based on security protocols. Since fire evacuations have to be swift, the guard has to be able to work under pressure, while following the procedures established during their training to ensure people do not get injured and get out as safely as possible.

2. Checking Fire-Safety and Prevention Equipment

During their shift, fire watch security guards follow a schedule to check that all fire extinguishers and equipment are in working order. After doing their checks, they update the log with information such as the expiration dates of the fire extinguishers, so they are aware when it is time to replace them. 

3. Reporting Safety Concerns

Along with checking fire-safety equipment, fire watch security guards are on the lookout for any suspicious activity that could cause a fire in the future. For instance, in some condominiums barbeque grills are provided in the courtyard for tenants to use in the summer for hosting outdoor parties

A fire watch security guard patrolling the grounds could check the barbeque grill to ensure that gas isn’t leaking from it when not in use. By checking it periodically, this could prevent a fire from happening in the future.

4. Clear Walkways and Exits 

During their shifts, fire watch security guards walk around the establishment and check doorways, hallways, and emergency exits to ensure there are no obstructions. In case a fire starts, the guard would ensure that the emergency exits are clear so they can direct people to evacuate properly.

 

5. Construction Site Protection

Construction on sites are susceptible to accidents and fires because they are filled with vulnerable structures, building materials, and expensive machinery. Due to some building materials being hazardous, you need permission from the local government before starting the project. The local government will only grant clearance to start your project when you have hired a fire watch security service to watch over the premises.  

6. Act as Substitute Fire Alarms 

As we know, sometimes a power failure can occur and cause fire alarms to malfunction. This creates the need for fire watch security guards to leap into action and start the evacuation process and call for help. 

7. Maintain Communication During a Fire

When fire alarm components are compromised, the loss of communication between the fire alarm panel and the security monitoring station no longer works. When a fire starts and the security monitoring system can no longer be contacted, it is the responsibility of a fire watch guard to contact the fire department, police, and ambulance, while communicating with the control centre. 

8. Carry Necessary Tools 

In the event of a fire, sometimes the police and fire department can’t get there in time to direct an evacuation. One of the primary responsibilities of a fire watch guard is to carry the necessary tools such as flashlights to direct people to safety in low-light situations.

9. Record Patrol Activities in the Patrol Log

Fire watch guards work in shifts, and it is essential to record all patrol activities in a security logging system. For instance, the night shift guard makes their rounds at the beginning of their shift and records it at the end of their shift. Once the day shift guard takes over, they go through the previous patrol log and conduct the same rounds as the night shift guard to ensure consistency with their patrols. 

10. Watch Over Special Events

A fire can occur anytime during a special event such as a wedding or live show. Most venues will allow events to occur when a fire watch security guard has been hired. Since special events contain a large number of people including workers, the safety of each individual should be accounted for and emergency exits should be accessible with the assistance of a fire watch guard. 

11. Prevent Fires 

Fire prevention is the primary responsibility assigned to a fire watch security guard. They constantly need to pay attention to anything that looks out of place and that could cause a fire. A fire security guard prevents fires by conducting daily walkthroughs on their establishment and reports suspicious activity in a timely manner.  

Fire watch guards need to go the extra mile by going through areas that contain electric appliances, such as electrical rooms or boiler rooms, or any place on the property. Any kind of inflammable material that is located near heat could cause abnormal sparks and ignite a fire.

12. Protect Hazardous Materials

It is common for fire watch security guards to patrol warehouses and factories due to hazardous chemicals. When inflammable and hazardous materials are exposed to electric-operated machinery, the chances of igniting a fire increases. 

The majority of fire watch guards are specially trained and inherit knowledge on the hazardous materials in their workplace’s environment before patrolling the premises. When fire watch security guards undergo the proper training that educates them on the different types of inflammable materials and what protocols to follow during a fire, they are able to put out small outbreaks with a fire extinguisher, while contacting emergency services.

If you would like more information about Vancouver security services, call Optimum Security at 604-644-9229 or contact us here

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