Fire watch services are required whenever any part of the sprinkler or fire alarm system is malfunctioning or taken offline. You can find information on how to know if you need fire watch services here. Regulations for fire watch services in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC vary depending on the jurisdiction. However, they all share some things thing in common. In Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC fire watch services are usually provided by security companies. If your system is not working you must have someone doing fire watch patrols. Very rarely does anyone plan for their fire alarm or sprinkler system to stop working. Fire watch services by their nature are emergencies. Fire watch service is not cheap. Some fire watch companies have been known to charge rates as high as $75.00 per hour in some cases. The high costs of fire watch services cause some property managers to use members of their staff to perform fire watch patrols. Though using property management staff saves immediate costs of hiring a professional fire watch service, there are significant disadvantages to using your existing staff for fire watches.
By using their own staff for fire watch services, property management companies absorb all of the liability. Yes, fires are relatively rare. However, when they do happen attorneys are always looking for someone to hold liable. In many cases existing insurance policies held by the property management companies will not apply because fire watch is not typically included in the insurance policies secured by property management companies. Properties that hire fire watch patrol service are protected by the fire watch company’s insurance policy.
Peace of mind
Your maintenance person does maintenance for a living. Maintenance is what they do best. Fire watch is not included in their skill set. Hiring a fire watch company proved the peace of mind that you have professionals doing what they do best. It also relieves you of the responsibility of coordinating staff of the entire course of service. Fire watches service must be provided continuously for as long as the fire alarm or sprinkler system is offline. This may require multiple people per hour, 24 hours per day for several days. Hiring a fire watch company gives the peace of mind of knowing that there will be someone on duty without placing strain on your staff.
Many juristictions have specific guidelines pertaining to how fire watch services must be performed. Buildings who fail to comply with those guidelines are subject to fines. These fines can be significant. Fire watch companies in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC know what it takes to comply with firewatch regulations. This is what they do for a living.
At first glance using property management and maintenance staff seems to be a viable option for fire watch services. Upon further review it is discovered that this is not the case. Considering the benefits of hiring a fire watch service company such as reduced liability, peace of mind and avoiding fines, it is clear that is best to hire professionals. If you own or manage a commercial property long enough you will eventually need fire watch services. When you this happens don’t do it yourself. Hire a professional fire watch company and enjoy the confidence that your property is protected.
Need fire watch service? Trust Security Services provides Firewatch service in the following juristictions:
Here are some additional artilcles about fire watch that you may find helpful: