Rapidly deployed, ethical
waking watch fire marshals
for buildings with fire safety issues.

We discount our hourly rate to below the industry average and donate £5 for every shift worked by one of our waking watch fire marshals to charities or community organisations of your choice. 

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In 2017, the tragic events of the Grenfell tower fire highlighted that many high-rise properties across the UK were fitted with extremely unsafe exterior cladding and required additional fire safety measures to be put in place. 

In response to these findings, the provision of a Waking Watch was introduced to facilitate the switch from the existing ‘stay put’ advice given to residents in case of a fire to a temporary simultaneous evacuation strategy.

Waking Watch services involve highly trained fire marshal officers monitoring high-rise buildings day and night, looking for signs of a potential fire, and assisting with the evacuation process if required.

What is Waking Watch?

A waking watch service is a fire safety measure that involves 24/7 surveillance of a building by trained fire marshals.

According to the National Fire Chiefs Council in their ‘Guidance to Support a Temporary Change to a Simultaneous Evacuation Strategy in Purpose-built Blocks of Flats’:

“A waking watch is an immediate solution to reduce the risk in a building and allow for continued occupation where, without them, the risk of fire may lead a Responsible Person to determine occupation is no longer appropriate or lead an FRS to serve a prohibition notice.”

The role of waking watch officers is to continually patrol every single floor of the building, and the exterior perimeter, looking for fires or potential fire hazards.

If a fire is detected, fire marshals are responsible for raising the alarm, alerting all residents to the situation, and overseeing the simultaneous evacuation of the building.

Waking watch officers will also contact the local fire brigade as soon as they detect an issue and liaise with them once they arrive, facilitating a rapid response and maximising the chances of fires being contained.

Waking watch services are designed to be a reassuring presence on properties with fire safety issues, giving residents peace of mind that should a fire occur, you and your loved ones will be quickly alerted and the situation will be under the control of highly trained experienced fire wardens.

Who needs Waking Watch?

Waking Watch Fire Marshals are required in all residential properties over 11m, or 5 storeys, where the property has been moved from a Stay Put Evacuation Policy to a Simultaneous Evacuation Policy following a building safety review.

This change in evacuation policy will follow a building safety review where fire safety issues have been uncovered, usually relating to cladding materials, and only applies to residences where no common fire alarm system is in place.

Prime Secure’s V-Fire Common Fire Alarm system can remove the need for expensive Waking Watch Fire Marshals, saving 84%.

Ethical Waking Watch

At Prime Secure, we discount our rate to below market average and donate £5 for every shift worked by one of our Waking Watch Fire Marshals to charities or community organisations of your choice.

Nobody wants to pay for Waking Watch, and the media is full of stories of unscrupulous providers charging vast fees for a sub-standard service.

At Prime Secure, we take the ethical approach we display with our Fiver Initiative charity arm to ensure that we charge a fair price, train our Waking Watch Fire Marshals more rigorously than the National Fire Chiefs Council recommendations, and help our customers give something back to those who need it most with our charity donations. So far, our Fiver Initiative has donated over £70,000 to good causes.

For further information on Waking Watch Fire Marshals, or how to replace your existing Waking Watch with one of our market leading V-Fire common fire alarms, contact us today on 0345 88 88 333 or click the button below to send us a message and our team will be in touch.


Waking Watch Responsibilities

The exact responsibilities that fire marshals will carry out as part of the waking watch services we provide will depend on the nature of the building in question and the site specific assignment instructions given.

However, in general, the duties of waking watch fire marshals include:

  • Conducting mobile patrols of the entire site at regular intervals looking for any potential signs of a fire or fire hazards.
  • Ensuring that all fire escape routes are accessible and free of trip hazards or other obstacles.
  • Filing regular detailed real time reports of their findings, including making recommendations of further fire safety measures that should be implemented on the property.
  • Alerting all residents in the event of a fire.
  • Conducting risk assessments to ensure all possible preventative measures are in place.
  • Triggering and overseeing the evacuation strategy.
  • Alerting the emergency services to the situation.
  • Assisting and liaising with the fire service once they arise.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), in their latest Simultaneous Evacuation Advice, states:


Waking watch members should receive sufficient training to ensure that they are able to carry out the duties expected by their role. The Responsible Person should keep a record of this training, including details of the individuals involved and content covered. Areas this training may cover include:

  • the principles of fire;
  • how to spot indications of a fire;
  • how to spot building deficiencies or fire safety issues;
  • how to raise the alarm in the event of fire;
  • how to call the FRS to the premises;
  • how to communicate with those managing the building and other waking watch personnel;
  • an understanding of how residents are likely to react in a fire or on instruction to evacuate;
  • an understanding of how to instruct residents that evacuation is necessary and ensure a safe evacuation;
  • how to carry out the actions of any PEEPs that have been formulated;
  • an understanding of the specific building in which they are providing waking watch including layout and evacuation routes; and
  • how to notify the Responsible Person of any building deficiencies discovered whilst patrolling.

Prime Secure Training

Our Waking Watch Fire Wardens undergo more extensive training than is recommended by the NFCC, 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


Through our Fiver Initiative charity arm, we donate £5 for every shift worked by one of our Waking Watch Fire Marshals to charities and community organisations of your choice.

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Our V-Fire common fire alarm removes the requirement for expensive Waking Watch Fire Marshals.