- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 21 Nov 2017
A fire marshal, also known as a fire warden, is an individual who is allocated, or who volunteers, to take on fire safety responsibilities for their organisation. A fire marshal should appoint a ‘deputy’ who can fill in for them if they are absent.
In general ,the role of a fire marshal falls into two areas: routine and emergency.
 Routine responsibilities
The routine, day-to-day responsibilities of a fire marshal include:
- Checking that fire exits and escape routes are free of obstructions.
- Checking that fire extinguishers and emergency alarm points are in-place with up-to-date service records.
- Ensuring storage is controlled and organised, particularly with regard to combustible material.
- Making sure that rubbish such as paper waste is not allowed to accumulate.
- Ensuring that all electrical equipment is PAT-tested (Portable Appliance Testing).
- Checking that emergency lighting is operational.
- Where necessary, maintaining a system for issuing hot works permits.
- Conducting inductions with new members of staff.
- Arranging fire drills.
- Establishing signing-in and out procedures for staff and visitors to the building.
- Establishing safe exit routes for people with disabilities who may need assistance.
- Checking that fire safety signs are in position and visible.
- Checking that fire-resistant doors are closed and functioning properly.
- Identifying and reporting possible fire hazards.
NB: Some high-profile buildings, or those in the vicinity of high-profile buildings, can be at risk of terrorist action. In these circumstances, it is recommended that bomb drills are carried out occasionally, with the fire marshals being responsible for coordinating and ensuring that staff know the appropriate procedures.
 Emergency responsibilities
The responsibilities of a fire marshal in the event of an emergency, whether genuine or false, include:
- Alerting the emergency services when an alarm is not part of a scheduled fire drill.
- Helping to evacuate people from the building to assembly points.
- Ensuring that equipment is secured.
- Ensuring they have a list of those who are normally present in the building, as well as the signing-in book.
- Carrying out a roll-call to ensure everyone has left the building safely.
A large building will require multiple fire marshals at different assembly points. In this case, the fire marshals should have a pre-arranged method of communicating to check for missing persons.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Building evacuation.
- Fire and rescue service.
- Fire authority.
- Fire detection and alarm system.
- Fire inspector.
- Fire prevention on construction sites.
- Fire protection engineering.
- Fire safety design.
- Means of escape.
- Responsible person.
- Site inspector for construction works.
 External resources
Featured articles and news
Read our introductory article on how to layout a building.
New cross-party report calls for combustible cladding ban to be extended to all high-rise residential buildings.
Dr Nicholas Falk, director of the URBED Trust, explains why metro cities are the future of urbanisation.
From next week, UK firms can bid for a share of a £12.5m fund to boost productivity, performance and quality.
A right to light generally refers to the right to receive sufficient light through an opening.
Interference and compatibility - the effects of electromagnetic fields in the workplace.
Important action is being taken to inspire young people to train as engineers.
A survey of Leicester’s historic buildings resulted in local listing being taken more seriously.
Demolition is the most high risk activity in the construction sector. Read our introductory article here.
BSRIA report on the domestic boiler market, with China recording the most 'dynamic market uptake'.