The role of a Fire Marshal / Warden

Principal Duties and role of a Fire Marshal / Warden in the Workplace

The role of a Fire Marshal / Warden – The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) came into force in October 2006 and with it the requirement to have a strategy to evacuate all occupants within a building. The fire service cannot be relied upon to assist with evacuation. As such, businesses are recognising the importance of having fully-trained Fire Marshal/Wardens as part of their emergency evacuation strategy. Having fire wardens has shown to be the quickest, most effective, way to evacuate a building. It is also seen as a proactive approach – fire wardens can be used to identify fire hazards and dangers before a fire occurs.

The principal duties of the fire warden are to;

  • Take appropriate and effective action if a fire occurs
  • Ensure that escape routes are available for use
  • Identify hazards in the workplace
  • Record and report their observations,

If a fire is discovered, the fire warden should:

  • Ensure that the alarm has been raised
  • Check that manufacturing processes have been made safe
  • Evacuate staff from the building or area involved
  • Check that any staff or visitors with disabilities are assisted as planned
  • Call the reporting centre and give details of the location, severity and cause of the fire, if known
  • Fight the fire if it is safe to do so.
The Role of a Fire Marshal / Warden – When the evacuation signal is heard, the fire wardens should ensure that everyone leaves the area as quickly and orderly as possible, ensuring that security measures, such as closing fire-resistant safes, are undertaken, if this can be done without causing a significant delay in the evacuation procedure. Electrical equipment should also be turned off and windows shut if possible.
When the area for which the warden is responsible has been evacuated, a rapid, methodical search should be undertaken to ensure that on-one remains in storerooms, toilets and similar areas.
The warden should then go to the assembly point and take part in the roll call procedure there. It may be the fire warden’s or security officer’s tasks to ensure that no-one re-enters before the fire brigade officer gives permission.
All fire wardens have an important role to play in the fire risk assessment. Any changes to work practices or modifications to existing processes may introduce unforeseen problems. Similarly, changes in procedures may result in the introduction of additional sources of ignition or different types of combustible materials. Any hazards that may be perceived should be reported to the fire safety manager who should consider them, in the light of the fire risk assessment, at the earliest opportunity.


Fire and Bomb Drills

Fire drills should be held at least once, and preferably, twice, each year. Following the fire drills the fire safety manager should hold a short debriefing session with the fire wardens in order to learn of any problems or difficulties that were encountered. The problems and any remedial action taken to reduce their occurrence in the future should be recorded. Fire drills are important exercises and provide an opportunity for plans and procedures to be developed and modified if necessary.
In some premises where there is a risk of terrorist action directed towards the premises or to others in the vicinity, it is also valuable to carry out a bomb drill occasionally, with the purpose of reminding staff of the actions that they should take. Again, a record of the exercise should be kept and procedures modified if necessary.
Particular consideration should be given to the actions taken in respect of a device thought to be in the street outside as well as those to be taken if a bomb were to be placed inside the building.


Did you know? we offer full Course details on our Fire Marshal / Warden Training please visit our Fire Marshal / Warden Training Page. The Fire Warden / Marshal Training training course is aimed to enable staff to manage a fire or other similar emergency efficiently and effectively to meet the legal requirements to train staff. This course has been designed with the core aim of creating a confident person to take charge in an emergency.


Cost for Fire Warden / Marshal Training

We are confident that we can offer you a competitive price for all your Health and Safety training requirements. Call us directly on 0800 774 7034 and we will be able to discuss your requirements.

These courses can be delivered directly in your place of work.