Many commercial property owners often ask about fire watch services and when they need them. The fact is, if you are thinking about fire watch services, you probably do need them.
Three scenarios will trigger the need for fire watch services. If your building is experiencing any of these three scenarios, then you need these services now.
Malfunctioning Alarm Equipment
If your fire alarm system is malfunctioning, then you will need fire watch services for the duration of the malfunction. A faulty fire alarm system is a high-risk danger. If a fire breaks out in your building, the fire department will not automatically be notified, nor will occupants of the building.
The risk of death and injury from fire increases exponentially when there is no alarm system to alert authorities and occupants. Even in unoccupied buildings, there is a great threat if your alarm system is not working. Unoccupied buildings without a working alarm system will sustain high levels of property damage, and you will face a greater risk of liability.
Malfunctioning Sprinkler System
According to the NFPA, if your sprinkler system is not functioning properly and the outage is longer than 10 hours, you will need these services. Even if your alarm system is functioning properly, you will need to employ fire watch services until that sprinkler system or any other type of water-based fire protection is repaired.
Malfunctioning Access Systems
Some property owners make the mistake of thinking that if the access system is malfunctioning, they do not need watch services, but they do. If you use an electronic access system to keep unauthorized people out, and it goes down, it can pose a risk to the occupants if there is a fire.
A good rule of thumb is if you are unsure if you need these services or not, err on the side of caution and employ them. If you want additional information, contact your local fire marshal, and they will be able to confirm whether you need it.
Ultimately, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Not getting the services you need can be a costly endeavor. Not having these services when they are needed can result in a fire claim being denied. Learn more about these services and how they can support your commercial property.