5 Duties of a Fire Marshal

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Taking on the fire marshal/warden responsibility in your workplace is a big task. You have a duty to prepare your colleagues, customers and workplace so that, in the event of fire, everyone in your building can safely evacuate. To help with this, we’ve created an infographic for you to print out in your workplace.

Hopefully, this poster serves as a reliable reminder for the fire marshal in your workplace of both their day-to-day and emergency duties. Before downloading this infographic, however, here’s a summary.

Implement Emergency Procedures

As a Fire Marshal, you should be well-aware of the predetermined protocol for an emergency. Often these procedures are concisely summarised on a fire action notice, which you are legally obliged to present in commercial premises.

In short, these emergency procedures involve:

  • Sounding the fire alarm
  • Calling the fire brigade
  • Leaving the building for the designated assembly point
  • Abandoning personal belongings
  • Staying outside of the building until it is deemed safe by the responsible person/fire service

Assist with Fire Risk Control Measures

Current UK legislation requires non-domestic, commercial premises to undertake a formal fire risk assessment. Fire inspectors often ask for your risk assessment as evidence of proper emergency planning (though, strictly, you don’t have a written assessment unless you have more than 4 employees).

Whilst you don’t have to be assessed by a professional, whoever completes your assessment should be fully trained in fire safety practices. The best choice is your designated Responsible Person; this could be the landlord, tenant, facilities manager or a whole host of people. Whomever it may fall to, this person must have seriously accepted the responsibility for fire safety in the building.

Raise Staff Awareness

Whilst your staff don’t have any legal obligation to be trained in fire safety, the fire warden or marshal does have the rather nebulous responsibility to ‘raise staff awareness’ of fire procedures. This may include day-to-day habitual education, such as adhering to fire safety signs and keeping fire doors shut.

However, as the designated fire warden, you may also choose to ensure the personal safety of your staff by enrolling them on an accredited fire training course. This is the best manner of education for your staff and gives them the knowledge required to act appropriately in the event of a workplace fire.

Lead Fire Drills and Evacuation Procedures

The duties of a fire marshal are perpetual; whilst people are in your workplace, you have a responsibility for their safety. Part of this responsibility, as mentioned above, involves their proper education in workplace fire procedure.

Aside from fire safety training, however, you should involve all staff in fire drills and evacuation procedures. At least annually, you should set a date for a fire drill, which all staff are aware of. During this drill, staff should practice competently following any building evacuation procedures, which they will hopefully have been educated in beforehand.

Assist all in the Workplace

As fire marshal, you have both a social and moral responsibility for the wellbeing of those in the workplace. Perhaps a member of staff has not properly absorbed any fire-related education you may have profferred. Whilst it may become repetitive, if someone is concerned about fire procedure, you should make sure they feel comfortable.

Similarly, if someone raises concerns about the potential of the building, their colleagues or anything else to cause a fire, it is your duty to assuage their fears. Rather than simply reassure them, of course, you must investigate their concerns and evaluate, as the Responsible Person, whether they hold water.

Conclusion

Acting as the designated fire marshal for your workplace is no small task; you have an important responsibility on your shoulders now. Hopefully, this summary of your duties will give you some food-for-thought. Download this poster in PDF format and stick it up in your office, for everyone to see.