Fire watch patrol officers are professionals who walk inside buildings to monitor for signs of a fire. Fire Marshals require businesses to hire fire watch when a sprinkler or fire alarm system is malfunctioning. It is not unheard of for some companies to use day laborers for fire watch patrols. While this practice is legal in Maryland, it is not ideal for any business. The best practice it to contract with private security companies who specialize in fire watch services. It is important to be very careful when hiring fire watch companies in Maryland. Here are some reasons why:
Maryland Fire Watch Regulations
The state of Maryland does not have specific fire watch licensing requirements. This means that management companies can hire anyone to provide fire watch services, including random laborers with no background checks or fire watch credentials. Some property managers even assign this duty to maintenance workers and custodians. Savvy business owners only hire fire watch officers who have the proper equipment and training for the job. The following employees should not be used as a substitute for qualified fire watch professionals.
Front Desk workers
Some Fire Watch Companies Hire Criminals
Due to the lax regulations on fire watch licensing, some companies fail to check the criminal records of the people they hire. This means you could be hiring someone with a criminal background to guard your facility without supervision.
Inadequate Fire Watch Training
Many companies make the mistake of hiring fire watch patrol officers without giving them the training they need to go out on the job. They are simply handed a clipboard and told to walk the building or call emergency services in case trouble arises. Training fire watch staff is essential when it comes to preventing a fire as trained officers are better equipped to respond to:
- Electrical fires
- Fire hazards
- Signs of smoke
- Emergency situations
- Lack of Insurance Coverage
One of the biggest risks associated with using the wrong company for fire watch staffing is that not all companies have proper insurance coverage. Fire watch service is a security-related coverage in the eyes of most insurance companies. There are many companies that offer fire watch in Maryland that are not security companies. Many of these entities do not have the proper insurance to provide such services. This is especially the case when property owners or property management companies attempt to provide fire watch on their own. Using internal staff or companies that lack the proper insurance is never good.
In many cases, a fire watch can last longer than is expected. Companies that do not specialize in fire watch service often lack the proper personnel to staff fire watches that last an extended length of time. Limited staffing also make it difficult to maintain coverage if one of your fire watch patrol officers is unable to come in to work due to weather or an illness. Random workers hired for fire watch duty may sometimes fail to show up at all. A reputable fire watch company always has professional staff on standby prepared to work.
Fire watch may not be heavily regulated in the state of Maryland, but cutting corners in terms of staffing could end up costing your business a significant amount of money in the long run. Get the most out of your fire watch services by working with professional security companies that specialize in fire watch patrol services. Our company is proud to staff only the best fire watch patrol officers.