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What is the role and responsibility of a Fire Warden/Marshal?

schedule 19th August 2019 by Virtual College in Health and Safety Last updated on 19th August 2019

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What is the role and responsibility of a Fire Warden/Marshal?

Fires in the workplace are something every business needs to plan for, having an effective fire safety plan in place to ensure the whole building is evacuated and all employees are accounted for. Fire Marshals and Fire Wardens play a vital role in this fire safety plan, dividing up responsibilities in the event of a fire to allow for a quick evacuation. Every site should also have a Fire Safety Manager who takes on overall responsibility in the event of a fire, with both Marshals and Wardens assisting them in their duties. It is important that all these essential people have an understanding of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the UK law which details what businesses must do to comply with fire safety law.

Fire Warden

Fire Wardens take responsibility for the evacuation of the building, starting the evacuation and searching the building to ensure all staff members have safely evacuated. Fire Wardens will also be the last people to leave the site as they need to check that no staff are left within the building, but this also means they assume a level of risk with being the final people to evacuate.

Fire Marshal

During the evacuation of the building, staff will be required to gather at a designated assembly point where a Fire Marshal will check that all staff are present via a register. Fire Marshals will liaise with the Fire Safety Manager and inform them if any staff are missing from assembly points. A further role of a Fire Marshal is to keep staff held at the assembly points until the building has been given the all clear.

If your site is particularly small then you may instead have a ‘Deputy’, who assumes the responsibilities of both a Fire Marshal and Fire Warden by evacuating the building and then performing the necessary checks at the assembly point alongside the Fire Safety Manager.

For more information on the roles and responsibilities in a fire related emergency, take a look at our Fire Marshal and Warden Training course which goes in depth on what you need to do in the event of a fire, and helps to provide a high standard of staff fire safety training.

Top Fire Warden FAQs

Do I need a fire warden at work?

Businesses need a fire warden or marshal, the number of which must be appropriate to the size of the company.

Do you need training to be a fire warden?

All employees acting as fire wardens need to receive at least basic training.

What does a fire warden do?

A fire warden looks after all elements of fire safety in the workplace, including the emergency plan, fire drills, risk management, etc.

How do you become a fire warden?

Businesses usually ask for volunteers to be fire wardens and basic training is usually then provided at an official fire service training centre in the form of a one-day course.

Click here to visit our full FAQ Hub


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