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Waking Watch Information

Ensuring the health and safety of all residents is an essential part of our role as a property manager. This can sometimes include the implementation of a waking watch, which FirstPort may be required to put in place as a temporary fire safety measure.

What is a waking watch?

The Government defines waking watch as ‘a system whereby suitably trained persons continually patrol all floors and the exterior perimeter of the building in order to detect a fire, raise the alarm, and carry out the role of evacuation management’.

The aim of a waking watch is to continually patrol a building (fire patrol) to ensure that there is sufficient warning in the event of a potential fire. If the waking watch identifies or is informed of a fire, they will attend immediately, assess the situation, and if required, they will call the Fire and Rescue Service. They may also support residents to evacuate and may liaise with the Fire and Rescue Service on their arrival.

While a waking watch is a costly measure to introduce, it is sometimes used as a short-term and essential mitigation measure while remediation works are taking place on a building.

When is a waking watch required?

In August 2022, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and other industry partners published the fourth edition of the Simultaneous Evacuation Guidance (SEG). The guidance states that:

‘If a building has been identified as high risk because of an unsuitable external wall system, or other fire safety defects, interim fire safety arrangements can be adopted for the temporary, short-term management and mitigation from fire risks, and the risk to life if a fire occurs.

What is the cost of a waking watch?

While the cost of a waking watch may vary, Government data from 2020 found that the median monthly cost of waking watch per building was £11,361.00. You can find out more about waking watch costs below:

Who pays for waking watch?

Waking watch costs will typically be attributed to the leaseholder. This is likely the case when interim measures are implemented due to the failure of a fire safety system.

However, waking watch costs which are associated with combustible materials in the external wall of a building is sometimes covered under the Building Safety Act 2022. As such, the leaseholder may not need to pay for the cost of the watching watch. Further information on this is available here: