Fire Marshalls – What Is Your Role?

18 October 2013

In some places of work, it is necessary to make use of fire wardens in case of an emergency. In the larger places of work, there may be a number of fire wardens or marshalls who are likely to report to one fire safety manager. It is the job of the warden to make sure that the people who work in their designated area of responsibility evacuate the building efficiently in the event of a fire.

Generally, the role of a fire marshall can be split into two parts; prevention of fire hazards and common duties during the event of a fire. It is the job of the warden to identify potential fire hazards within their work premises and to note these hazards down and report them to the relevant person, usually the designated fire safety manager. They must also ensure that evacuation routes are kept completely clear of any obstructions by regularly checking them, ensuring that there is absolutely nothing left or dropped on the floor that could make the way to the exit impassable or dangerous. It is however compulsory that all staff members are made aware of this and what to do should they see something suspect.

In the event that a fire occurs, it is the responsibility of the fire warden to make sure that everybody in their area, or building, has been evacuated safely and that anyone who may need extra assistance to leave the building receives some. They should also check toilets and all store or office areas in case anyone has been missed or left behind. People leaving the building should be encouraged to do so by the marshall in a calm and orderly fashion. If relevant, the warden should ensure that any open windows are closed and that electrical equipment is shut down, but only if this will not dramatically interfere or delay their evacuation of the building.

Once they are sure there is nobody left in the building, the fire marshall should check that the alarm has been raised by a person and is not a system default. They may need to report this to the system operator. If the alarm has been set off correctly, the warden can use fire extinguishers to fight the fire, but only if it safe to do so. The fire marshall should not put themselves at risk.

Once their role within the building has been completed, the fire marshall should report to the Fire Assembly Point. It may also be the role of the warden to make sure that nobody re-enters the workplace until the Fire Brigade say it is safe to do so.

The fire warden’s role is vital, not only for the prevention of fires but also for ensuring that employees and visitors to their place of work are assisted in the event of an emergency. It is not always easy for people to remain calm when they hear an alarm and so it is important that the warden receives regular training so they know how to act appropriately when a fire alarm goes off and they know protocol for responding to the emergency situation.

For more information about fire warden and fire marshall training, contact us here at Total Fire Services. Our courses are designed to provide and teach all necessary skills required to perform the duties of the role effectively. As well as staff training, it is also vital that your place of work has had a thorough fire safety risk assessment that will outline any appropriate actions you must take to comply with legal obligations and organisational requirements.


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