Last edited 21 Nov 2017

Fire marshal


[edit] Introduction

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.

[edit] 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.

[edit] 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.

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