Role of a Fire Warden in the Workplace
The primary role of a fire warden (also known as a fire marshal) is to ensure the safe exit of all occupants of the building they are responsible for in the event of a fire.
Appointed by the Responsible Person a fire warden’s duties will normally be appointed upon the completion of a fire risk assessment and the various risks have been identified.
There is no set rule for the amount of fire wardens required but 1 warden per every floor your premises has should suffice.
As part of the businesses fire safety policy fire wardens and their roles should be clearly identified.
Part of the responsibilities of a fire warden is to carry out regular and periodic checks of any fire safety measures and equipment that are present within the premises.
The checks carried out will depend on the type of risks, installed fire protection measures and any other contributing factors identified in the fire risk assessment but the following shows the kind of duties a fire warden will be expected to carry out:
Can fire exits be opened immediately and without obstruction
Are fire doors clear of obstruction
Are escape routes clear
Is the fire alarm panel showing normal
Are luminaries and exit signs in good condition
Is the emergency lighting and signs working correctly
Are all fire extinguishers in place and clearly visible
Are fire hydrants accessible for the fire service
Are fire doors clear of obstruction and escape routes clear
Did the fire alarm work correctly when tested
Are charging indicators on the emergency lighting working and visible
Is all fire equipment serviceable
Are all fire extinguishers wall mounted appropriately or placed on stands
Do automatic fire doors operate on alarm activation
Are self-closing devices in working order
Are all external stairs in good condition and non-slip
Do all internal fire doors close flush against their stop
Do all luminaries and exit signs work when tested
Does the pressure gauge on all fire extinguishers read in green
The above is to give you a general idea of what the role of a fire warden could entail but is not exhaustive and each building is unique to the risks identified within the fire risk assessment.
As well as the various designated checks a fire warden’s duty would also be to:
Raise the alarm and call the emergency services
Be familiar with the escape routes in the area they are responsible for
Train to safely use portable firefighting equipment should the need arise
Ensure evacuations are carried out in a timely manner
Conduct a sweep through their designated area turning off any heating equipment and closing windows on doors on the way if safe to do so.
Direct people to the assembly point assisting any disabled persons present.
Once outside the fire warden should account for all occupants whether that be way of a head count or by any designated roster/register.
Meet the fire service on arrival providing as much information as possible.