Public Safety Procedures

Fire Watch

Public Safety   |   Approved February 22, 2023


To establish and document the procedures to assign a person or persons to an area for the express purpose of protecting the public from fire and life-safety dangers, which is known as a “fire watch.”


The National Fire Code and State of Maryland Fire Prevention Code grant the authority having jurisdiction the ability to require standby fire personnel or an approved fire watch when potentially hazardous conditions are present, when there is a reduction in life safety features, when there is an impairment to a fire protection feature, or when the number of occupants present results in an increased hazard. The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) is the authority having jurisdiction for property owned by UMB and therefore has the ability to require a fire watch when potentially unsafe conditions exist. These procedures establish the requirements for the individual performing the fire watch at UMB.


  1. The individual performing the fire watch shall have no other duties or assigned responsibilities for the duration of the fire watch, unless otherwise approved by the OFM.
  2. The individual performing the fire watch shall have immediate access to a telephone and shall have the ability to call 911.
  3. The individual performing the fire watch shall have immediate access to a fire extinguisher and shall have completed training on proper fire extinguisher use.
  4. The individual performing the fire watch must continuously patrol the impacted area and maintain a log documenting the fire watch. A sample log is available from the OFM.
  5. The fire watch cannot end until all of the following conditions have been met, if applicable:
    1. The impaired fire protection or fire alarm system has been restored and accepted by UMB.
    2. 60 minutes have passed after the completion of hot work.
    3. The event requiring the fire watch has concluded.
    4. The OFM has determined that the fire watch is no longer needed.
  6. If a fire is discovered, immediately and in this order:
    1. Activate the building fire alarm system using a manual pull station.
    2. If able to safely do so, use a fire extinguisher to extinguish the fire.
    3. Evacuate the building.
    4. Call 911.
    5. UMB Police at 410-706-6882.
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