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Hello, property managers and building owners in New York! My name is Ariel Brock, and I’ve spent the past 15 years as a fire marshal enforcing fire codes and procedures right here in the Empire State. Today, I want to share some valuable tips on choosing the best fire watch security guard company in New York. Whether you’re dealing with a malfunctioning fire alarm system or simply want to ensure the safety of your property, hiring a top-notch fire watch guard can make all the difference. Let’s dive in!

What is a Fire Watch?


A fire watch is a temporary measure implemented to ensure the safety of a building and its occupants when the fire alarm, sprinkler system, or other critical fire protection systems are not functioning correctly. Essentially, it’s a way to monitor and protect your property until the main systems are back online.


When should a fire watch be assigned? Fire watches are typically required during:

  • Malfunctions of fire alarm systems.
  • Water supply shutdowns affecting fire sprinklers.
  • Construction or renovation projects that impair fire protection systems.

Responsibilities of a Fire Watch

Fire watch guards are tasked with patrolling the building, keeping an eye out for fire hazards, and ensuring that any signs of fire are detected and acted upon immediately. They also maintain a detailed fire watch log to record their patrols and any incidents.

The Importance of Fire Watch Security Guards

Protecting Lives and Property

First and foremost, the primary goal of fire watch guards is to safeguard people and assets. Having a dedicated person or team to monitor for fire hazards ensures that any potential issues are spotted and addressed quickly, minimizing the risk of harm or damage.

Compliance with Fire Codes

Fire watch guards help ensure that your building complies with local fire safety regulations. This compliance is critical to avoid penalties and to keep everyone safe. As someone who has enforced these codes, I can tell you that having a fire watch in place is not just about ticking a box—it’s about real safety.

Top Tips for Choosing the Best Fire Watch Security Guard Company in New York

1. Check Credentials and Certifications

When choosing a fire watch security guard company, the first thing you should do is verify their credentials. Make sure the company is fully licensed and that their guards are certified to perform fire watch duties. In New York, this means ensuring they meet the state’s stringent requirements. I’ve seen firsthand how a certified guard’s quick thinking can make all the difference in an emergency.

2. Evaluate Experience and Expertise

Experience matters. Look for companies with a proven track record in providing fire watch services. Guards should have specialized training in fire safety. I recall a situation in a high-rise building where an experienced guard spotted a small electrical fire and took immediate action, preventing a potential disaster.

3. Read Reviews and Testimonials

Check online reviews and testimonials from other property managers and building owners. Positive feedback from satisfied clients can give you confidence in your choice. For instance, a well-reviewed company that handled a condominium fire watch successfully is likely to provide reliable service.

4. Assess Training Programs

Ensure the company invests in rigorous training for their guards. Fire watch guards should be well-versed in fire prevention, emergency response, and maintaining a detailed fire watch log. A well-trained guard can make all the difference in identifying and mitigating risks.

5. Understand Their Emergency Procedures

Ask about the company’s emergency response plans. Quick and effective response times are crucial during a fire watch. A company that can demonstrate clear, efficient procedures is likely to provide the best protection for your property.

6. Inquire About Technology and Equipment

Modern technology and equipment can significantly enhance a fire watch guard’s effectiveness. Ask if the company uses advanced tools and systems to monitor and report fire hazards. This can include everything from handheld radios to sophisticated fire detection systems.

7. Request a Detailed Proposal

Before making a decision, ask for a comprehensive proposal outlining the services they will provide and the costs involved. Transparency in pricing and services is essential to avoid any misunderstandings later.

8. Verify Insurance and Liability Coverage

Ensure the company has adequate insurance and liability coverage. This protects you in case of any incidents or accidents that may occur while the guards are on duty.

9. Consider the Cost-Effectiveness

Evaluate the cost of services in relation to their benefits. While you don’t want to compromise on quality, it’s important to find a solution that fits within your budget.

10. Check for Compliance with Local Regulations

Finally, ensure the company complies with New York City and State fire safety regulations. This ensures they are up-to-date with the latest safety standards and legal requirements.

What to Do If Your Fire Panel Fails to Communicate with the Local Fire Department

Immediate Steps

If your fire panel fails, here’s what you should do:

  1. Contact the Local Fire Department: Inform them about the malfunctioning fire alarm system.
  2. Initiate a Manual Fire Watch: Deploy fire watch guards immediately.
  3. Notify Building Occupants: Ensure everyone knows about the situation and the temporary measures in place.

Hiring a Fire Watch Security Guard Service

Research: Look for reputable fire watch services in New York. Check reviews and ask for recommendations.

Verification: Ensure the guards are certified and have the necessary training.

Consultation: Discuss your specific needs and concerns with the service provider.

Contracts: Clearly outline the scope of services, responsibilities, and expectations in the contract.


To sum up, hiring the best fire watch security guard company in New York involves careful consideration and thorough research. Whether you’re managing a condominium fire watch, hotel fire watch, or any other property, having professional guards on-site is crucial for safety and compliance.

Remember, fire safety is about being proactive and prepared. If you ever find yourself facing a malfunctioning fire alarm system, don’t hesitate to implement a fire watch. It’s a decision that could save lives and protect your property.

Additional Resources

  • Contact Information: Reach out to local fire watch services for more details.
  • Further Reading: Explore articles and guides on fire safety and regulations in New York.

Stay safe, and remember, it’s always better to be prepared when it comes to fire safety!

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