You are required by law to ensure that all staff in a business are adequately trained in fire safety and that you have suitable fire precautions in place. In general, this is assumed to mean regular refreshers for existing employees and certificates in fire safety for new staff. It also would normally include Fire Wardens with up to date knowledge. So, it is a simple enough question to answer then:
“If you are a Fire Marshal, when does your certificate run out”?
Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple it should be. The reason it is not cut and dried is that the requirement is not as easy to apply as something like a national benchmark.
Are The Duties of The Fire Marshal Relevant To The Expiry Data of The Certificate?
In some ways, yes, they are. The role of the Fire Warden/Marshal is basically to prevent fires. That means they should always be up to date and be on top of the regular checks and servicing that are a part of fire safety in general. Your certificate is basically saying that you are capable and competent as a Fire Warden. Clearly if this is no longer the case then you should really refresh the certificate. There are many reasons why you may need to review your training. For example, you could have changed jobs and your new employer requires an up to date certificate. Another common one is that you are trained as a Warden, but you have not been performing the duties for a period and need to get back into the swing of things.
Is There a Legal Requirement To Renew My Certificate?
Again, this is a yes and no answer unfortunately. The responsible person (usually someone very senior in the business) has a duty to ensure that their fire safety procedures are appropriate and that all staff have a suitable level of knowledge. That generally includes a Fire Warden as part of the overall safety practice. It would follow then that the Fire Warden should have up to date and pertinent knowledge.
Your certificate may not have a strict date by which you should renew but it does need to be renewed on a regular basis because the importance of the Fire Warden in your safety plan cannot be underestimated. The issue of legality is more about the overall fire safety practice than specifically about Fire Warden duties or certificates. However it could very well be difficult to justify you were adequately prepared should an incident occur and your Fire Marshals had not been on a refresher for a long time.
When Is An Appropriate Time To Renew?
As a rule of thumb, we say every 1 – 2 years depending on your environment and local circumstances. For some industries such as education and schools there could well be other factors such as inspecting bodies to consider. Many larger companies have a policy of renewal that will have been part of their fire assessments. Turnover of staff, expansion or changes to the business operations, new building changes and many other factors could also affect your decision but we suggest you take the line that your team and your Fire Wardens should all have certification which is up to date and suitable.