A fire guard shall be provided for each torch in operation, except that a single fire guard may be designated to conduct a fire watch for more than one torch operation on the same floor or level if each torch operation is not more than 50 feet (15 240 mm) from the fire guard, as measured by the actual path of travel, and the field of view of such fire guard encompasses all of the horizontal fire exposures of such torch operations.
In addition to the fire guard required by FC2604.2.7.1.1, if the torch operation is being conducted at or near the edge of an unenclosed floor of a building, or near a floor opening, or other location where sparks and slag may travel to one or more lower floors or levels, a fire guard shall conduct a fire watch on each lower floor or level containing combustible surfaces or materials within 35 feet (10 668 mm) of the area of such floor or level that potentially would be exposed to such sparks or slag. Prior to commencement of the torch operation, the fire safety manager or responsible person shall inspect the lower floors or levels and take all necessary and appropriate precautions to protect any combustible surfaces and materials that potentially would be exposed to sparks and slag from the torch operation. A certification to that effect shall be made on the hot work authorization.
A fire watch is not required on the floors or levels below a torch operation on a construction site when:
- the torch operation is not being conducted at or near the edge of an unenclosed floor of a building;
- the floor upon which the torch operation is being conducted is of noncombustible construction;
- there are no floor or exterior building openings within 35 feet (10 668 mm) of the torch operation; and
- prior to commencement of the torch operation, the fire safety manager or responsible person conducts an inspection and takes the precautions required pursuant to FC2604.2.7.1.2.
- Notwithstanding the foregoing exception, if sparks or slag generated by the torch operation are observed to extend beyond 35 feet (10 668 mm), thereby potentially exposing lower floors or levels, the torch operation shall be immediately discontinued, and the floors or levels below shall be inspected for any fire condition. If there is any potential exposure to combustible surfaces or materials on the floors below from such sparks and slag, noncombustible barriers shall be provided and any other necessary or appropriate precautions shall be taken. If such barriers and precautions fail to block the passage of sparks and slag, a fire watch shall be established on the floors or levels below.