Templar Fire Watches
Fire watch involves maintaining close observation to ensure fire safety in work areas using fire to complete duties
or in high-risk flammable
work areas. Fire watch is delegated to one person or a group of individuals. According to the Occupational Safety
Administration (OSHA), the individual or group of individuals on fire watch cannot be responsible for another
work duty while involved in
the fire watch.
Templars on fire watch make periodic rounds to work areas involved in hot work (welding
or torch work). During these rounds Templars ensure work is performed
safely and make periodic checks of the sprinkler system. Templars complete walk-throughs
or rounds every hour and record the time walk-throughs started and ended in
mandated fire watch log sheets. Effective walk-throughs require Templars to be
thoroughly familiar with the building. During walk-throughs, fire extinguishers are
readily available. In the case of a fire outbreak, fire watch personnel are not allowed to
attempt extinguish unless it is safe to do so.
Communication involves having a telephone available to report fire outbreaks. This is
readily available but in a safe area. Templars in this position efficiently communicate
the outbreak of a fire to all building occupants. They may release information of fire
through a portable air horn or other device approved by the local fire department.
Prompt and safe evacuation is the responsibility of Templars. Once an alarm
of a fire outbreak is made known to all building occupants, people on fire watch
proceed with planned evacuation procedures. Duties include getting occupants so
many feet away from the building and not allowing re-entrance until receiving
permission from the fire department.
Record Their Rounds
Fire watch rounds are completed regularly -- some in 15-minute increments, others every hour. Fire watch
personnel need to have a record log of each round. On their log, they should have the address of the facility, the
time that the patrol began and completed, their name and any communication that occurred between them and the
fire department or Department of Public Safety. They should also be wearing a visible form of identification.
Also, Templars should not perform any other tasks or duties except those relating specifically to their area of
During 'Hot Work'
When "hot work" is being performed at the site, Templars responsibilities include preparation and record-keeping,
as well as checking the area before work is performed to ensure all combustible materials are removed from the
area. They also make sure that any holes in the area are sealed with fire proof materials. After the hot work is
completed, the fire watch should be maintained for at least 30 minutes. All areas to where sparks may have
flown need to be checked thoroughly for any new fire hazards.
What Not to Do
Although it varies by location, most fire watch responsibilities are clear that fire watch personnel should not
attempt to extinguish the fire unless it is safe for them to do so, or they have been expressly instructed or given
permission to do so. According to fire watch duties listed with the Texas Department of Public Safety, fire watch
personnel should not undertake tasks that the average citizen could not complete safely.