Verifying fire watch requirements with AHJs

Facility name: Skyline Medical Center

Project name: SKYLMC-052017M-Med Surg, Critical Care, & ED
Project classification: Hospital – Horizontal Expansion
Project type: Acute Care
Project number: 3429300007
Lesson Learned number: 50
Impact: Cost

Lesson Learned/Best Practice

Fire Watch Requirement For Expansion – The Metro Nashville Fire Marshal required that a 24/7 fire watch be implemented for Skyline due to the expansion being connected on each floor to an existing occupied facility. During construction there was no active fire sprinkler system or fire detection system. Due to the expansion being horizontally connected to the existing occupied building, fire watch was required. During normal working hours Batten & Shaw dedicated an employee to maintain fire watch and keep updated logs. During off hours (nights and weekends) a 3rd party security company was hired to provide fire watch and update logs. This was an unforeseen cost that was funded from RGC’s. The cost was approximately $2,000 a week for the security company performing off hours fire watch.

Suggested Actions for Future Projects

Verify with the AHJ/local fire marshal at the beginning of a project their interpretation of the fire code and requirement. Depending on the project, this may apply differently. If it were a true vertical expansion and did not tie into the existing building horizontally, the slab would provide a 2-hour fire barrier, and this fire watch would not be required.

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