One of the most effective ways in which UC Davis Fire Prevention Services maintains the safety of the public, property, and the environment is through the use of programs designed to involve the campus community in Fire Prevention. One such program is called a Firewatch. Initial determination of a Firewatch will be made by the UC Davis Fire Prevention Services. All individuals serving as a Firewatch must be trained and accepted by UC Davis Fire Prevention Services personnel.
A Firewatch is a temporary measure intended to ensure continuous and systematic surveillance of a building or portion thereof by one or more qualified individuals for the purposes of identifying and controlling fire hazards, detecting early signs of unwanted fire, raising an alarm and notifying the fire department. A trained university employee/designee or Contract Security Service will act as an agent of UC Davis Fire Prevention Services to monitor and report incidents or activities that pose a threat to the safety of life and/or property. This is done by conducting a systematic tour of the building and surrounding grounds to ensure that no fire or other emergency has occurred. Reasons for a Firewatch to be activated are when:
- Hot Work is being performed at a construction/remodel site, or in an occupied building.
- A University-owned or leased building has been granted occupancy by the Fire Marshal with a temporarily non-working Fire Protection System (Fire Alarm and Sprinkler), such as when there is a power outage for an extended time.
- An event or activity will be using heat, flame, or explosive material/devices.
The duty of the person(s) assigned to the Firewatch is to develop an all-inclusive inspection route prior to an event or emergency, that will encompass a visit to all accessible areas/rooms and surrounding grounds in a logical sequence. The individual(s) must be observant of anything unusual, such as heat, smoke, or odors that may warrant further investigation or notification of emergency responders. Firewatch logs must be filled out and be available upon request from the Deputy Campus Fire Marshal.
Additionally, if a fire or other emergency is discovered, the appropriate emergency personnel must be immediately notified by dialing 9-1-1 or the building's fire alarm system activated. If the building’s fire alarm system is not operational and the building is occupied, the use of an air-horn type device for notifying occupants is recommended as long as the occupants have been notified of the change in emergency audibility in advance. The individual(s) serving as the Firewatch is/are reminded not to compromise their own safety.