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All hot work shall follow National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 51B, Standard for Fire Prevention during Welding, Cutting, and Other Hot Work and NFPA 1-41.1 Hot Work Operations.

A permit shall be obtained from the Wauwatosa Fire Department, Prevention Bureau, at least twenty-four hours before the desired work is to be performed.

Fire Prevention Precautions 

  • Permissible Areas – Hot work shall be allowed only in areas that are or have been made fire safe.  Hot work shall be performed in either designated areas or permit-required areas.

Hot Work Permit

  • Obtain a written permit from the Wauwatosa Fire Department and permission for the building owner.  The permit application may be downloaded here.
  • Operating equipment shall be maintained in satisfactory operation condition and good repair.
  • The floor shall be swept clean of all combustible materials (wood shavings, paper, cardboard boxes, and fiberboard containers) within a 35 foot radius.
  • All combustibles shall be relocated at least 35 feet horizontally from the work site.
  • Openings or cracks in walls, floors, or ducts within 35 feet of the site shall be tightly covered with fire retardant or noncombustible material to prevent the passage of sparks to adjacent areas.
  • If hot work is done on walls, partitions, ceilings, or roofs precautions shall be taken to prevent ignition of combustible on the other side by relocating combustibles.  If impractical to relocate combustibles, then post a fire watch.
  • Hot work that is performed on pipes or other metal that is in contact with combustibles shall not be undertaken if the work is close enough to cause ignition by conduction.

Fire Extinguishers

  • Fully charged and operable fire extinguishers, that are appropriate for the type of possible fire, shall be available immediately at the work area.  If existing hose lines are located within the hot work area defined by the permit, they shall be connected and ready for service, but shall not be required to be unrolled or charged.
  • If hot work is done in close proximity to a sprinkler head, a wet rag shall be laid over the head and then removed at the conclusion of the welding or cutting operation.  During hot work, special precautions shall be taken to avoid accidental operation of automatic fire detection or suppression systems.

Fire Watch
A fire watch shall be required by the Wauwatosa Fire Department when work is performed in a location where other then a minor fire might develop, or where the following conditions exist.

  • Combustible materials in building construction or contents are closer then 35 feet to the point of operation.
  • Combustible materials are more than 35 feet away but are easily ignited by sparks.
  • Wall or floor openings within a 35 feet radius exposed combustible materials in adjacent areas, including concealed spaces in walls or floors.
  • Combustible materials that are adjacent to the opposite side of partitions, walls, ceilings, or roofs and are likely to be ignited.
  • A fire watch shall be maintained for at least ½ hour (30 minutes) after completion of hot work operations in order to detect and extinguish smoldering fires.
  • More than one fire watch shall be required if combustible materials that could be ignited by the hot work operation cannot by directly observed by the initial fire watch.


  • Failure to follow these guidelines may result in the revocation of the permit issued by this office.  The offender may also be found in violation of Title 14, Wauwatosa Fire Prevention Code.

Download Hotwork Permit Application

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