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The average cost of a fire in a commercial building is estimated to be £58,100. And seventy-five percent of businesses do not recover from a serious fire.

As such, protecting your business from fire should be a high priority – especially if your property is at an increased risk.

One of the most effective ways to reduce the chances of your business experiencing a fire is to procure a professional fire watch service. But what exactly is a fire watch service? And when should you think about using one?


What Is a Fire Watch Service?

A fire watch is a person whose sole duty is to minimise the chances of a fire occurring and to look out for any fires which do occur. They do this by ensuring fire safety best practice is consistently adhered to, eliminating fire risks and responding appropriately in the event of fire.

By gaining a comprehensive understanding of your premises, fire procedures and evacuation policies – as well as the unique risks your business faces – a professional fire watch will significantly reduce the chances that your business is negatively impacted by fire.

In some situations, enlisting the help of a fire watch is an essential requirement for health and safety compliance. The 2015 edition of the International Fire Code highlights four situations in which the presence of a fire watch is an absolute necessity:


• When a building’s fire alarm system or sprinkler system is not in service for more than four hours.

• When so-called “hot-work” (for example, welding) is taking place on site.

• During certain demolitions which present an increased risk of fire.

•When it is an essential safety measure in a place of assembly or congregation due to the number of persons or the nature of the performance, display or activity taking place.


Additionally, some businesses choose to deploy a dedicated fire watch for their own peace of mind. They may choose to do this because of an increased level of threat, because they have experienced a fire before or simply to put in place an additional layer of protection against fire.


How Is a Fire Watch Different from a Fire Warden?

Although sometimes used interchangeably, there is actually an important difference between a fire watch and a fire warden.

A fire watch is a health and safety professional whose only duty is to minimise the threat of fire. To properly qualify as a fire watch, an individual must have no other responsibilities in addition to the implementation of anti-fire measures and fire control. In situations in which a fire watch is required in order to achieve health and safety compliance, procuring the services of a dedicated fire watch is the only way to meet these requirements.

A fire warden, on the other hand, is a person who has received training in fire safety techniques but who is allowed to undertake other duties in addition to fire safety. A fire warden will support the ongoing management of fire safety and will contribute to the safety of people in the event of a fire evacuation. So, for example, a security officer could also undertake the role of fire warden in addition to their day-to-day security duties.


Are You Looking for Professional Fire Watch Services?

If you’re currently looking for a professional fire watch service provider, Churchill Security is able to provide experienced fire watch professionals to businesses throughout the UK. Our fire watch services are available 24/7/365 and we are able to cater to businesses operating in all industries and types of premises – from apartment blocks to industrial sites.

Our fire watch officers will effectively minimise the chances of your business experiencing a fire by eliminating and mitigating fire risks, ensuring fire safety best practice is adhered to throughout your premises and pro-actively monitoring for outbreaks of fire. Our professional fire watch team will implement a range of measures proven to reduce the risk of fire, as well as undertaking “waking watch” services (in which anyone sleeping on site will be effectively roused in the event of a fire evacuation) where required.

We are also able to provide security officers able to act in a duel-role capacity as a fire warden. Such security officers are properly trained and qualified and will implement comprehensive fire safety measures in addition to their security duties.


Churchill Security is an experienced national security provider. Established in 1993, we are able to deliver safety and security solutions to business operating in any industry and location. This includes professional fire watch and fire warden services.

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John Melling is a Director for Churchill Security Ltd. John is a highly motivated, determined and decisive security industry professional. Drawing on his extensive experience gained within the security industry whilst working on the coalface John has operated at all levels within the industry. He has a proven track record for motivating and leading high performance teams and has helped mentor and develop many people at Churchill who now hold key or senior positions within the business. John is committed to delivering only the finest services, exercising compelling leadership, maintaining good internal morale and striving to resolve any challenges efficiently and effectively.