A Fire Watch is a physical inspection conducted when a building’s Fire Alarm, Sprinkler or other Suppression Systems are hindered or temporarily out of service. Posting a Fire Watch is the responsibility of the Building Representative or the Housing and Residential Community Representative that is responsible for the building. Fire Watches are posted at the request of the Tuscaloosa Fire Department or the Environmental Health & Safety Representative responding to the incident. Fire Watch Personnel are required to continually patrol the facility or site for evidence of smoke, fire or any abnormal conditions. Whenever a situation which threatens life or property is discovered, the Fire Watch personnel must immediately contact emergency personnel at 348-5454, sound the fire alarm, alert the building occupants and assist in the orderly evacuation of the facility.

If a contractor’s work requires that a fire  alarm system be offline for work to be completed, the contractor is responsible for a fire watch throughout the area or building and at the fire alarm panel.  The fire watch involves having a  qualified individual watching the fire alarm system and walking through the area and dialing 911 in response to any fire alarm coming into the panel.  This is the contractor’s responsibility and all costs associated with this fire watch will be the  responsibility of the contractor.  International Fire Code (2003) states that a fire watch is “a temporary measure intended to ensure continuous and systematic surveillance of a  building or portion thereof by one or more qualified individuals for the  purposes of identifying and controlling fire hazards, detecting early signs of  unwanted fire, raising an alarm of fire and notifying the fire department.”


NFPA 101 Life Safety Code requires that a Fire Watch be instituted anytime a Sprinkler System, Fire Alarm or other Suppression System is hindered or out of service. Additionally, UAPD (205-348-5454) and Environmental Health & Safety (205-348-5905) must be contacted to advise that a system is out of service and a Fire Watch has been posted.

Selecting Fire Watch Personnel:

Responsible and able bodied individuals shall be selected to conduct Fire Watches.

Fire Watch Log:

UA Fire Watch Duties and Sample Log Sheet explains the duties and responsibilities of people involved in the fire watch.   Additional Fire Watch Log sheets are available.  Log entries shall be made hourly at the completion of each round. Log entries shall consist of the date, the time the round was completed, a summary of what was observed and the name and signature of the individual conducting the Fire Watch. The Fire Watch Log shall be kept readily accessible for review by Environmental Health & Safety and Tuscaloosa Fire Department.

Duties of Fire Watch Personnel:

Fire Watch personnel shall continually conduct rounds by walking through the entire building or affected area, looking for evidence of smoke, fire, or other abnormal conditions. A specific route shall be laid out to ensure the entire Fire Watch Area is covered. The individual selected shall know the location of Alarm Pull Stations and Fire Extinguishers on the site.

If you have questions regarding the fire watch please contact Tim Sullivan for additional information.