With the severe weather, many fire protection systems throughout Austin have been impacted resulting in many multi-family communities without the life-safety systems that are normally in place. The Fire Marshal’s Office wanted to share some information and reminders to help guide property managers during this severe weather event.
In the event that a fire protection system is out-of-service, the Austin Fire Department requires property management to initiate a fire watch. The fire watch is to remain in place until the system is back up and operating properly the residents are protected. The responding fire crews, upon finding a malfunctioning fire protection system, or one that must be placed out-of-service, will endeavor to located a responsible person(s) to relay to them the fire watch requirements. During this time of severe weather there have been several instances where a responsible party is not on-scene and/or is unable to be contacted. Because of the increased demand for 911 services, fire crews have been directed to try their best to locate a property representative and if unsuccessful, then to relay information to residents - but this does not relieve the responsibility for management to provide a fire watch until repairs to the system are complete. The Austin Fire Department Fire Marshal’s Office will strive to follow back-up with the property management and/or the alarm technician to ensure repairs have been made and/or provide additional guidance.
Guidelines have been provided with this email to assist with establishing a fire watch.
We greatly appreciate your cooperation and understanding in working with us to help keep your residents safe! Please do not hesitate to contact the Fire Marshal’s Office with any questions and/or concerns.