Waking Watch Services

V360 provides both Waking Watch fire marshals and an industry leading V-Fire common alarm system to maximise fire safety in high-rise properties with unsafe exterior cladding.

Save Money on Waking Watch

Our hourly rate is below the median rate as detailed in the Government’s industry research, as detailed here.

£5 TO CHARITY
EVERY SHIFT

For every single shift a V360 Waking Watch officer completes in your building, we will donate £5 to a charity of your choosing.

Extensive
Training

All our fire marshals are highly trained in identifying and dealing with fire safety hazards, working 24/7 to keep your building safe from the risk of fire.

Waking Watch officer is an extremely important specialist role and we put our marshals through extensive, bespoke training to ensure they are well suited to the role.

WAKING WATCH

Key Questions About Waking Watch

The Waking Watch industry came about following the tragic events at Grenfell Tower and, as a result, there is a lot of confusion about this sector. We thought we’d look at some of the most frequently asked questions and regularly searched for pieces of information. If you have a question that isn’t covered, then simply contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Click on the relevant title and be transported straight to the information you’re looking for.

What is a Waking Watch?

According to the UK Government’s Building Safety Programme: Waking Watch Costs web page, a Waking Watch is defined 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.

Who needs waking watch services?

Investigations conducted in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, highlighted that many high-rise buildings in the UK are fitted with similar highly flammable cladding or have other major fire safety issues.

All buildings over 18m that have been identified as such are required to put in place either a waking watch or a common fire alarm system until the issues have been resolved.
This is to allow for a switch to a simultaneous evacuation policy, replacing the stay put advice previously given by the fire service, that will ensure a swift evacuation of all residents in the event of a fire.

Failing to put one of the solutions in place will invalidate the building’s insurance and put residents at serious risk in an emergency.

What do waking watch officers do

The role of waking watch officers is to conduct continual mobile patrols of the building 24 hours and day (commencing at least every 15 minutes) looking for signs of a fire and raising the alarm if one is identified. Should a fire be located, it is the role of these officers to alert residents, oversee the evacuation of the building, and liaise with the emergency services. During their patrols, waking watch officers will also use their highly trained eyes to identify any potential fire hazards and report them to the building manager.
These could include:
  • Obstructions blocking fire escape routes
  • Fire doors wedged open
  • Combustible materials
  • Blocked bin chutes
  • Flat door closers or compartmentalisation devices that have been tampered with
  • Damaged fire doors

Fire marshals should also liaise frequently with property management to help refine and improve the building’s fire safety protocols. At V360, our fire wardens will fill out fire safety check lists during their patrols as well as conducting risk assessments on a regular basis. Using smart patrol management technology (Guard Tracker QR technology) we will agree on certain points along patrol routes for our fire watch officers to scan QR codes, giving you peace of mind that no areas will be skipped or overlooked. Communication is key to a successful waking watch and we will be in frequent liaison with residents to explain the evacuation procedure via meetings, mail drops, and verbal communications. The security industry is an ever moving industry as our fire marshals are trained to be flexible as waking watch services will often change as the job contract continues.

What is the official guidance?

If a building is found to have flammable materials in the exterior wall system, a waking watch must be put in place to keep residents safe and the building ensured.

However, official guidance states that this should only ever be a temporary measure due to the relatively high cost to residents of having fire security officers on site around the clock.

In a joint report, the NFCC (National Fire Chiefs Council), in partnership with ARMA (Association of Residential Managing Agents), the FPA (Fire Protection Association), the IFE (Institution of Fire Engineers), and OPTIVO (one of the UK’s biggest providers of housing and member of the G15 group of London’s largest housing associations) stated:

“Building owners should move to install common fire alarms as quickly as possible to reduce or remove the dependence on waking watches.

This is the clear expectation for buildings where remediation cannot be undertaken in the ‘short term’. This approach should, in almost all circumstances, reduce the financial burden on residents where they are funding the waking watches.”

Waking Watch Fire Marshal Training

Our Waking Watch Fire Wardens undergo extensive training, including:

  • NFCC Training
  • CPD Certified and RoSPA Assured Fire Marshal Training
  • Monthly update from Contract Manager to all staff via e-mail on current legislative conditions and updates to existing procedures and policies
  • Changes to the Fire Safety Legislation (Such as recent Bill receiving Royal Ascent- Fire Safety Act 2021)
  • Fire Response Training
  • Evacuation Chairs
  • Enhanced Customer Service Training
  • Safeguarding Training
  • Empowerment Training
  • Manned Guarding Induction Training
  • GDPR Training
  • ACT Awareness Counter-Terrorism Training (refreshed annually)
  • BDA – Behavioural Detection Awareness Training (refreshed annually)
  • SCaN Training (refreshed annually)
  • Conflict Management Training
  • De-escalation Training
  • HSE Training
  • First Aid Qualification
  • Equality and Diversity Training
  • How to prevent fires
  • What to do and where to go in the event of a fire
  • How to raise the alarm and liaise with emergency services
  • What does the fire alarm sound like?
  • Where to find manual call points
  • Where are all the fire exits and where do they lead to?
  • How to compartmentalise
  • How to operate portable fire-fighting equipment
  • How to evacuate including PEEPS evacuation
  • How to use Evacuation Chairs
  • Fire assembly points
  • How to prevent fires
  • What to do and where to go in the event of a fire
  • How to raise the alarm and liaise with emergency services
  • What does the fire alarm sound like?
  • Where to find manual call points
  • Where are all the fire exits and where do they lead to?
  • How to compartmentalise
  • How to operate portable fire-fighting equipment
  • How to evacuate including PEEPS evacuation
  • How to use Evacuation Chairs
  • Fire assembly points

How can you remove Waking Watch?

As detailed above a building must have either a Waking Watch or common fire alarm system in place until remediation has been completed to remove problematic cladding.

For this reason, if there is no evidence that cladding will be replaced in less than a month, the only way to remove the costly waking watch service is to install a common fire alarm.

Our V-Fire common fire alarm system is the perfect choice for those in this situation, saving residents an average of 82% in comparison to waking watch.

Furthermore, a V-Fire system can easily be converted into a standard fire alarm system once remediation is completed, saving you the time and expense of replacing all the alarms in your building.

Find out more about our V-Fire common fire alarm here.

How can we save you money?

If you live in a building affected by the cladding crisis, there are 3 stages that your building will need to go through.

Here at V360, we can help save you money at every one of them.

Stage 1 – Waking Watch

Our waking watch fire marshals are available at a discounted rate, comfortably below the industry average detailed in Government research.

For every single shift our fire marshals work on your site we will also donate £5 to a charity of your choice.

We only recommend waking watch as a VERY short term solutions until V-Fire can be installed.

Stage 2 – Common Fire Alarm

Our V-Fire system is one of the very best common fire alarms on the market.

Installing a V-Fire system will save you an average of 82% in comparison to waking watch.

Stage 3 – Stay-Put Evacuation System

Once the fire safety issues have been resolved, and unsafe exterior cladding replaced, a stay-put evacuation policy will return.

Installation of our V-Fire system will not only help you meet the National Fire Chief Council’s recommendations to minimise waking watch expenditure, but will save you extra money in the long-term by converting to a standard alarm system, saving you the money of installing a brand-new system.

With a stay-put policy in place the Fire & rescue service will use the technology in our V-Fire system to identify where the fire is and decide to evacuate (usually just a couple of floors above and below the fire itself).

Get in Touch

V360 are the UK’s leading provider of fire and security services in both domestic and commercial properties across the nation.

Our security officers are fully licenced by the Security Industry Authority and offer a wide range of services from event security and key holding to fire marshal duties.

For further information on our waking Watch services or V-Fire system, Contact our support team today on 0345 319 8333.