The Role of a Fire Warden

By Definition the role of a Fire Warden (or Fire Marshal as it is also known) is as follows:

“Personnel who take responsible, active roles in the event of an emergency”.

The Role of a Fire WardenIn any building it will be necessary to draw up a properly structured emergency plan in the event of a fire or security alert.  A system should be devised whereby the building is divided into equal areas or zones and a Fire Warden to cover each area.

Senior fire wardens should then appoint as many Fire Wardens as required to ensure that their duties are undertaken when they are absent.

There should be sufficiently trained Fire Wardens in each area so that there is adequate cover whenever the building is occupied.

Fire Wardens must be given adequate training on appointment and at regular intervals to ensure that they are at all times efficient and confident with emergency procedures. The fire wardens training must include emergency procedures, responsibilities and fire safety/fire protection.  It should also include the theory of fire and types of first aid fire fighting appliances, how to use them and what to use them on.

Due to the nature of these responsibilities it is usual for managers or supervisors to be appointed Fire Wardens.

General

A daily signing-in book should be provided so that availability of Fire Wardens is noted.  Fire wardens must ensure that they sign on or report in when ever they are on duty.

Note:   Properly structured emergency procedures will save lives in the event of a fire or explosion.  This may not save persons directly affected by the incident, but the rest of the premises and its remaining occupants still have to be managed and this is only possible by:

  • Pre – Planning;
  • Having trained personnel in key positions;
  • Having clearly defined written procedures.

At least one senior manager must be available at all times a building is occupied, and may be identified as the Senior Fire Warden.

Fire Wardens must be given adequate training on appointment and at regular intervals to ensure that they are at all times efficient and confident with emergency procedures.

Duties of a Senior Fire Warden 

  • Appoint Fire Wardens;
  • Designate an area of the premises for which the Fire Warden will be responsible for;
  • Specify the Fire Wardens duties;
  • Establish procedures to enable Fire Wardens concerns to be raised;
  • Ensure Fire Wardens are fully trained in their duties;
  • Maintain an Effective Fire Warden cover at all times the building is occupied;
  • Liaise with the fire brigade.

If a fire is discovered, the Senior Fire Warden Should:

  • Ensure that the alarm has been raised;
  • Take the appropriate and effective action.
  • Check location of fire on the fire alarm system
  • Ensure fire wardens are carrying out a sweep/search of their designated area

At the fire assembly area the Senior Warden should:

  • Ensure Fire Wardens have commence head count;
  • Ensure all staff and visitors have been accounted for;
  • Inform the Fire Brigade if anyone is reported missing;
  • Assist the emergency services with all relevant information regarding hazards within the premises.

The Role of a Fire Warden

The principal duties of the Fire Wardens are to:

  • Take appropriate and effective action if a fire occurs.
  • Ensure the escape routes are available for use.
  • Identify hazards in their area.
  • Report their observations.

If a fire is discovered the Fire Warden should:

  • Ensure the alarm has been raised.
  • Attack the fire if safe to do so.
  • Evacuate the building involved.
  • Assist disabled staff as planned.
  • Take charge of the head count at the assembly area to ensure that all staff have been accounted for.
  • Check that manufacturing processes have been made safe.

When the evacuation signal is heard, the fire wardens should ensure that everyone leaves the area as quickly and orderly as possible, ensuring that security measures, such as closing fire-resistant safes, are undertaken, if this can be done without causing a significant delay in the evacuation procedure. Electrical equipment should also be turned off and windows shut if possible.

When the area for which the warden is responsible has been evacuated, a rapid, methodical search should be undertaken to ensure that on-one remains in storerooms, toilets and similar areas.

General Responsibilities for Fire Wardens

The Fire Wardens must ensure that:

  • They are familiar with all aspects of the buildings emergency procedures.
  • They are familiar with all means of escape routes and the location of all fire exit staircases and final exit doors.
  • They are aware of the special needs of disabled people in the event of an evacuation.

 

Note:   In the absence of the Senior Fire Warden, the Fire Warden will be required to take over their duties.  It is essential that all Fire Wardens are familiar with the role and duties of a Senior Fire Warden.

General Responsibilities for the Senior Fire Warden 

  • They are to appoint Fire Wardens so that in the event of any absence the Fire Warden can take the responsibilities of a Senior Fire Warden.
  • They inform a Fire Warden when they are absent from the building.
  • They are familiar with all aspects of the buildings emergency procedures.
  • They are familiar with the means of escape routes and the location of all fire exit staircases and final exit doors.
  • They know the location of fire extinguishers and fire hose reels and are familiar with their use.
  • They are aware of the special needs of disabled people in the event of an evacuation.
  • They must sign in as a Fire Warden, when commencing  your duty.

For more information on Fire Safety in the workplace please visit the Health and Safety Executives (HSE) webpage section http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/fire.htm

For more information on Fire Safety Training Courses, including the Fire Warden Training offered by Liverpool Training Solutions and how we can help you find the right training courses for your business please email us. Or alternatively, call us on 0151 515 0416 and speak with one of our training Consultants.

The Role of a Fire Warden
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