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Hello, property managers and building owners in Texas! My name is Erick Lancaster, and I’ve spent the past 15 years as a fire marshal enforcing fire codes and procedures here in the Lone Star State. Today, I want to share some valuable insights about the critical role of fire watch security guards in public buildings. Whether you’re dealing with a malfunctioning fire alarm system or just want to ensure the safety of your property, hiring a fire watch guard can make a world of difference. Let’s dive into why fire watch security guards are essential for public buildings in Texas!

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 in Public Buildings

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 Benefits of Hiring Fire Watch Security Guards in Texas

1. Immediate Detection of Fire Hazards

Fire watch guards are trained to spot potential fire hazards before they become significant issues. For example, during a condominium fire watch, a guard might notice faulty wiring that could lead to a fire if left unchecked.

2. 24/7 Monitoring and Surveillance

With round-the-clock monitoring, you can rest easy knowing that your property is always under watch. This continuous surveillance is particularly crucial for high-occupancy buildings like hotels. I’ve seen how crucial this can be during a hotel fire watch where the presence of guards can deter potential fire hazards.

3. Quick Response to Emergencies

In case of an emergency, fire watch guards are trained to act swiftly and efficiently. I remember a case where a fire watch guard’s quick response prevented a small fire in a government building’s kitchen from becoming a major disaster.

4. Compliance with Local Regulations

Having fire watch guards ensures that you meet all local fire safety regulations. This compliance can save you from hefty fines and legal issues.

5. Temporary Coverage During System Failures

Fire watch guards provide essential coverage when your fire alarm or sprinkler system is down. I once dealt with a situation where a public library’s fire alarm system malfunctioned, and the presence of fire watch guards was crucial to maintaining safety during repairs.

6. Professional Training and Expertise

Fire watch guards undergo rigorous training to prepare for any situation. Their expertise means they can handle emergencies effectively, providing peace of mind for property managers.

7. Peace of Mind for Property Owners

Knowing that professionals are watching over your property allows you to focus on other important aspects of your business. Trust me, the peace of mind this brings is invaluable.

8. Reduction in Insurance Costs

Insurance companies often look favorably upon properties with fire watch services in place, potentially leading to lower premiums.

9. Detailed Record-Keeping and Reporting

A well-maintained fire watch log can be crucial in the event of an incident. These logs provide a detailed account of all patrols and observations, which can be vital for investigations and insurance claims.

10. Public Relations and Reputation Management

Having a visible fire watch presence can improve your building’s reputation, showing tenants and visitors that you prioritize their safety.

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 malfunction.
  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 Texas. 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 fire watch security guards in Texas brings numerous benefits, from immediate hazard detection to peace of mind and regulatory compliance. Whether you’re managing a condominium fire watch, hotel fire watch, or any other public building, having professional guards on-site is a smart and necessary move.

At the end of the day, 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 Texas.

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

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