Fire Watch Job Description (Duties, Salaries And Jobs)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 10 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Fire watch personnel provide surveillance to eliminate or reduce the potential for fires. This includes projects like welding or patrolling in hot work areas. If you are interested in pursuing a career in fire safety, it is essential to know their duties and responsibilities. In this article, we discuss the fire watch job description, review the responsibilities of fire safety personnel, list the skills and education required for the job and highlight their work environment and advancement opportunities.

Related: What Does A Firefighter Do? Definitive Guide And Career Tips

Fire Watch Job Description

As part of the fire watch job description, fire watchers are responsible for alerting firefighters if there is a fire, ensuring fire fighting equipment is at hand and maintaining safety standards at the workplace. They work in a wide variety of environments, including industrial plants, stores, hospitals, schools and construction sites. Some primary duties include:

  • Inspecting all work areas for flammable vapours or liquids

  • Monitoring the workspace and keep flammable materials away from ignition sources

  • Alerting the firefighters in the event of a fire

  • Notifying emergency services in the event of a fire and become familiar with emergency alarm systems

  • Having fire-extinguishing equipment readily available and being well-trained in its use

  • Practicing operating extinguishers, hydrants, monitors and hose carts

  • Following the conditions and requirements specified on the safety permit

Related: How To Become A Firefighter (With Requirements And Duties)

Skills And Education Required

Fire watch personnel require a variety of skills to protect people, property and environment in highly risky situations. Some skills and educational qualifications include:


Most businesses require fire prevention officers to have a bachelor's degree. A two-year college degree or a high school diploma or equivalent may be necessary for some fire safety officers. If you plan to pursue a degree, you may choose to major in criminal justice, business or fire science and protection.

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Several skills can be helpful when pursuing a career as a fire safety officer. Businesses often need their fire safety personnel to have extensive experience with fire safety and prevention. Some essential skills include:

  • Awareness of health and safety basics

  • Ability to reassure others

  • Ability to stay calm in stressful situations

  • Ability to explain procedures simply and clearly

  • Communication skills with people at multiple experience levels

  • Planning skills

  • Observation skills

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Work Environment Of Fire Safety Personnel

Work environments can vary largely for fire watch positions. Most personnel work in fire brigade stations and work in 24-hour shifts. Fire safety officers might work long shifts, which includes working during weekends and holidays occasionally. It is also their responsibility to educate the public on fire safety measures. Physical fitness is also essential for professionals in this field.

Work as a fire safety officer can include long periods of standing or walking. It may also require staying in one designated area for long periods of time. Other companies might ask their fire safety officers to have the physical capability for heavy lifting, rigorous movements and responsiveness in case of emergency situations.

Related: What Is Work In Progress? (Definition And Example)

Salary Information Of Fire Watch Personnel

The national average salary for fire watch for fire safety officers is ₹20,584 per month. Based on their experience and skills they may work in senior positions such as fire marshal or other fire safety positions. Their salaries can also depend on factors such as the employer, location, experience and skills.

Related: 14 Firefighter Skills: Definition And Different Examples

Advancement Opportunities Within The Field

General fire safety personnel may find various opportunities to advance in their careers as fire safety directors, forestry fire lookout, firefighters or fire engineers. Some responsibilities for these positions include:

Fire safety director

Fire safety directors make sure that buildings follow all the necessary fire safety precautions, plans and emergency equipment they might need. These professionals may work for private companies, hotels, security firms or work in high-occupancy buildings. Other responsibilities of a fire safety director include:

  • Creating evacuation plans and running fire drills to educate occupants on how to prepare for emergencies

  • Maintaining and upgrading safety equipment within the business, including suppression systems, alarms and evacuation infrastructure

  • Training fire watch personnel in safety protocols

  • Overseeing other safety duties or systems in the building

  • Managing video surveillance operations and elevator controls

  • Entering daily information into a logbook

  • Working with insurance companies during audits to ensure compliance with standards

  • performing payroll, equipment training, purchasing equipment and employee reviews

  • Maintaining records required by law

  • Reviewing work permits from contracted work to ensure they meet requirements

  • Evacuating occupants during fires

  • Testing fire control and alarm systems

  • Responding to emergencies in accordance with emergency procedures

Related: How To Become A Safety Officer In 5 Steps (With FAQs)

Forestry fire lookout

A forestry fire watcher lives and works near remote lookout towers. Usually employed by forestry services, they search for wildfires. If they detect smoke, they record the location and report any fires with light signals or radio. Other responsibilities might include:

  • Sounding the alarm in case of an emergency

  • Monitoring hazardous hot work

  • Finding and extinguishing small fires

  • Inspections of various areas and any work sites before their shifts

  • Removing combustible materials

  • Setting up and inspecting fire extinguishing equipment

  • Using their knowledge of weather systems and fire behaviour to keep forests safe

  • Using binoculars, topographic maps and compasses to identify the location, size and characteristics of fires

  • Reading thermometers, anemometers and other weather instruments to create daily record reports of temperature, wind speed, wind direction and other conditions

  • Using two-way radios or cell phones to communicate with rangers, dispatchers and fellow lookouts

  • Maintaining lookout equipment by making minor adjustments and repairs

  • Performing routine administrative tasks

  • Giving forest and fire prevention information to hikers who visit the tower

Related: How To Become Forest Officer: Duties And Eligibility


Firefighters are first responders who handle fire emergencies and rescue people during fire hazards in their local communities. They also conduct safety training drills and promote fire safety practices. Other responsibilities include:

  • Extinguishing fires

  • Performing rescues

  • Containing chemical spills

  • Preventing fire damage by conducting surveys and inspections for hazards

  • Preparing citizens to prevent fire damage through educational and training program

  • Ensuring availability of water at the scene of a fire by testing hydrants, requesting and verifying repairs

  • Minimising fire damage by responding to alarms

  • Driving and operating equipment

  • Regulating water pressure while combating and extinguishing fires

  • Providing support to people who have been through an emergency

  • Completing preventative maintenance by following manufacturer instructions and troubleshooting malfunctions

  • Evaluating new equipment and techniques

  • Maintaining operations by following proper policies and procedures

  • Reporting needed changes and repairs

  • Performing minor medical care and emergency services

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Fire engineer

A fire engineer provides fire safety advice on both new construction and renovations to buildings. Fire safety engineers help safeguard life, property and the environment from fire risks, making sure projects adhere to industry codes and legislation. As part of a multidisciplinary project team, fire engineers work closely with a fire risk assessor, architect and building services engineer. Some of their duties include:

  • Assessing potential fire risks and reducing or eliminating them

  • Designing emergency exits and fire alarms with fire safety procedures to minimise the risk of injuries and fatalities

  • Designing, calculating, sketching and drawing diagrams using modelling software to prevent fires and fire spreads

  • Recommending materials for construction or renovation

  • Staying up-to-date on regulations and legislation

  • Providing advice on the installation and implementation of designs at construction sites

  • Assisting in decisions regarding building occupancy levels and fire evacuation plans

  • Planning fire strategies and writing reports about them

  • Assisting local authorities, architects and contractors

  • Providing expert testimony in court cases and judicial proceedings, if necessary

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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