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What is waking watch, do you need one and is it required by law?

Find the answers to all your fire marshal and security questions here

What is a Fire Waking Watch?

Waking watch services became a regulatory requirement for a large number of buildings throughout the UK, following the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy. 


Local authorities and fire departments are directly responsible not only for ensuring the safety of new residential buildings, in line with the latest legislation, but also for retrospectively ensuring that older buildings are brought up to code for fire safety.


Any buildings identified to be at risk, due to issues like external cladding, are required to be either vacated, until the problem is remedied, or to implement a system of fire detection, often including trained 24 hour a day waking watch personnel, to ensure the safety of the people inside in case of an emergency, while the work is being carried out. 


Star Protection Waking Watch teams are not only qualified fire marshals but also accredited security officers.

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Is a waking watch a legal requirement?

With many buildings being adapted for their use, sometimes fire and sprinkler systems have to be deactivated meaning marshals are needed to raise the alarm if needed but also to check any false alarms if dust etc activates any alarms.


Our fire marshals can be deployed within the hour to satisfy any requirement of any visit from the relevant authority. 


Each site has its own dedicated site waking watch supervisor, off-site manager and the on-site folder includes all the relevant and necessary log books, job specific tasks and checkpoints as well as contacts for the key personnel both on and off site. 


Our off-site managers hold their Level 3 certification enabling us to facilitate fire marshal courses and assist in fire risk assessments in accordance with the new Regulatory Reform Order (Fire Safety 2005).

What does waking watch mean?

Trained individuals work in shifts or teams to continually patrol all floors and exterior perimeters of a building to ensure any fire danger is identified as quickly as possible, to raise the alarm, and carry out a vital role of managing any evacuation that may be needed.

What does a waking watch do?

Patrolling every floor and outside areas around a building, the waking watch security personnel are trained to identify fire danger and raise the alarm in the event of any situation that may require evacuation.


Waking Watch fire wardens are on duty at all times and work in teams to ensure each floor of a building or high-rise tower block is frequently and properly inspected, to ensure all residents are protected. 


Should a fire be detected, the Waking Watch fire safety team are responsible for alerting emergency services and ensuring that everyone in the building has been fully informed of what is going on and the actions they must take to be evacuated safely – in a pre-devised evacuation plan.

How do I know if my building needs a waking fire watch?

Every building, particularly residential, whether it has been identified as at risk, or is undergoing fire safety work, including, but not limited to, the replacing of flammable or dangerous cladding, or upgrades to the fire alarm systems, requires proper fire prevention and detection systems.  Trained personnel can make all the difference in the vital first moments of an emergency. 


Whilst common fire alarms, installed in every premises, are deemed ‘sufficient’ by many local authorities, it is often much simpler and more effective to engage a professional Waking Watch team, than it might be to newly-install devices for every resident, in all the places they may be required. 


A trained fire marshal will be able to advise on every aspect of ensuring resident safety in matters to do with detection and evacuation. Do not wait until you are at risk, find out what may be required now for your building, by calling Star Protection on 0844 5000 212 or send us an email.

Don’t wait until you’re at risk before calling us!

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