No matter the setting you work in, chances are you’ll have heard the term ‘fire warden’ mentioned before. Most workplaces are legally obligated to have at least one designated fire warden, and you may assume their role is only relevant in the event of an emergency.
However, a fire warden has many additional responsibilities that most people are unaware of. But how do you become a fire warden? And what exactly does the job entail? Here at Pyrotec, we’re here to answer all of your questions.
What is the job of a fire warden?
The job of a fire warden can be split into two categories: daily duties and emergency duties. On a day-to-day basis, a fire warden should be focused on preventing fires and ensuring emergency preparedness. Common responsibilities include identifying and correcting potential hazards, leading fire drills and checking all fire exits are free from obstructions. The fire warden should also be performing regular inspections on all fire safety equipment and reporting any issues immediately.
Emergency situations can cause panic, and building occupants may struggle to remember evacuation protocol in these fraught moments; this is where a fire warden comes in. They will have several emergency duties in the event of an actual fire, including:
- Directing all building occupants to their nearest evacuation route.
- Checking all accessible areas to ensure everyone has evacuated.
- Ushering everyone to their Fire Assembly Area.
- Taking a register to ascertain if anyone is missing.
- Liaising with emergency services and informing them of all relevant information.
Who can become a fire warden?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that every commercial premise must have a designated ‘responsible person’ in charge of fire safety for the building – usually a building manager, owner or employer. This person must then ‘appoint one or more competent persons to assist them in undertaking the preventative and protective measures’ for the building; this is commonly known as a fire warden.
Anyone over the age of 16 can volunteer to become a fire warden. However, they must undergo an accredited fire marshal training course to ensure they are fully aware of their role and its responsibilities. The number of fire wardens that your building requires depends on a number of factors, including the number of employees, the amount of floors, accessibility and the size of the premises. Typically, a recommendation as to the amount of fire wardens needed will be made in your fire risk assessment.
What information does the training course cover?
Fire wardens play a crucial role in an emergency, so it is vital they have the correct training in place. A fire warden training course typically lasts one day and covers a variety of information, including:
- The basic principles of fire.
- An explanation of the fire classification system.
- An introduction to legislative requirements.
- Common workplace fire hazards and how to minimise them.
- Emergency evacuation procedure.
- How to use fire safety equipment, such as fire blankets and extinguishers.
Some courses also offer practical fire extinguisher training, offering participants the chance to extinguish a controlled fire to ensure they are confident with the equipment.
There is no formal assessment and this is not a test-based course with a pass-or-fail scenario. At the end of the training day, each participant who completes the course will receive certification that lasts for three years. Following its expiry, the fire warden needs to attend another course or undergo a refresher session, to ensure they are up to date with the latest fire safety information.
Pyrotec specialises in providing fire safety training to businesses across Brighton, Eastbourne, Crawley and beyond. Our BAFE-accredited professionals deliver meticulously planned courses that will help your fire warden understand and carry out their duties.
To book your training sessions or learn more about our services, contact our friendly team today.