What Fire Marshal Duties are you Responsible For?
Fire Marshal Duties
Are you familiar with all of your Fire Marshal duties? A fire marshal (sometimes called a fire warden) has a position of great responsibility in any business or organisation. They have two broad classes of duties: proactively preventing fires on a day-to-day basis on the one hand and acting quickly to prevent or minimise loss of life or injury if a fire or other emergency does break out.
Day to day fire marshal duties
On a day-to-day, non-emergency basis, fire marshals are responsible for performing accurate assessment of an organisation’s fire risk, and to make it more likely that any fires can be either avoided entirely or detected and dealt with quickly if they do occur. The details vary from organisation to organisation, but often include:
- Keeping fire exits and other escape routes clear and unobstructed, both inside and outside.
- Ensuring that emergency fire notices and alarm points are present, clearly visible and known to all employees.
- Ensuring that an adequate number of fire extinguishers are present, and have been recently charged or serviced.
- Establishing and enforcing a paper and flammable waste storage policy.
- Keeping smoking areas tidy and ensuring that smoking receptacles are emptied safely and on a regular basis.
- Ensuring that all hazardous or flammable liquids are stored and handled safely.
- Establishing electrical safety procedures, including PAT testing.
- Monitoring external security and rubbish collection for fire safety.
- Testing emergency lighting systems on a regular basis.
- Conducting fire safety training of staff and officers.
- Ensuring that exit and fire exit signs are in place and well-maintained.
- Conducting fire drills regularly, ideally at six month intervals.
- Making and updating a fire risk assessment document
- Ensuring that the workplace as a whole is fully compliant with all fire safety regulations and standards.
Emergency fire marshal duties
In the event of a fire or other emergency which requires the facility to be evacuated, the fire marshal’s duties are vital. Again, emergency plans will vary, but a fire marshal’s duties in an emergency typically include:
- Using fire extinguishers and other safety equipment to put out or minimise any fires.
- Triggering the fire alarm or otherwise alerting anyone in the building to the danger.
- Calling the appropriate emergency service to the location of the fire or emergency.
- Evacuating those present in a safe, efficient manner.
- Personally assisting disabled or limited-mobility people to exit the area of danger.
- Closing windows, doors and fire doors after areas have been evacuated.
- Isolating and/or shutting down dangerous machinery or equipment.
- Conducting a roll call at designated assembly point(s) after the evacuation is complete.
- Making the initial report to emergency services upon their arrival.
An attentive fire marshal makes any facility (and the people inside it) much safer from fire. However, failure to take your fire marshal duties seriously can have terrible consequences. If you are not certain what your fire marshal duties are or how to fulfil them, you should seek fire marshal training immediately. Either of our classes could help you perform your duties better, and maybe even save lives!