A Fire Wardens’ responsibilities can be categorised into two areas:
- Fire Prevention duties
- Reactive emergency duties
Fire Prevention Duties of a Fire Warden
While a fire warden mustn’t put themselves at risk while carrying out their duties, they are there to increase the chances of preventing a fire.
Actual tasks will change from one company to another and will be dependent on factors such as number of staff, size of building, contents of building etc.
Fire Warden duties in the workplace may include:
- Checking all fire exits and routes are free from obstruction and available for use at all times. It is also vital that final exits are opened to check they are not blocked from the outside.
- Ensuring break glass call points are visible and have a break glass point sign and emergency fire action notice next to them.
- Ensuring fire extinguishers are correctly placed, serviced and signed.
- Making sure general house-keeping is in good order, for example waste and paper storage is controlled. If a room has a fixed source of heat or ignition, it shouldn’t be used for storage of combustible materials.
- Monitoring smoking areas, ensuring they are clean and smoking receptacles are emptied regularly.
- Controlling the locations and storage of flammable liquids and hazardous materials.
- Taking responsibility for electrical safety checks and PAT testing.
- Monitoring external rubbish storage.
- Testing all emergency lighting monthly.
- Managing hot works, issuing hot works permits and control of contractors.
- Carrying out weekly testing of fire alarms (see our handy ‘How to Test Your Fire Alarm’ video)
- Ensuring all staff receive a fire induction.
- Arranging fire drills at least once a year.
- Surveying exit signs to ensure they’re correctly placed and visible.
- Checking fire doors every week.
- Managing all checks, paperwork and compliance documentation.
While the main role of the Fire Warden is to try and prevent fires, there may be a time when a fire occurs, and the Fire Warden needs to react. In a reactive position, their responsibilities might include:
- Fighting fires/use of fire extinguishers.
- Raising the alarm and/or calling the emergency services.
- Ensuring staff are directed to safe available exit routes.
- Checking all rooms (where safe to do so) and ensuring toilets, walk in cupboards, lifts and similar areas are checked.
- Assisting disabled people with exiting the building safely.
- Closing all windows, doors and fire doors in rooms and corridors.
- Ensuring final fire doors are closed.
- Ensuring hazardous manufacturing processes and machinery has been isolated.
- Taking part in the roll call at the assembly point.
- Reporting to the fire service on their arrival.
How many Fire Wardens do you need?
This is a good question, and the answer is largely dependent on the size of the building, the number of staff and so on. There should always be a minimum of two Fire Wardens in any business to accommodate for sickness, holidays and so on. A rule of thumb is that if a floor or designated area takes more than 3 minutes to ensure is clear then additional wardens are required.
Assured Fire & Security Ltd provides Fire Warden Training and Basic Fire Safety Awareness Training to companies across the UK. If you have any questions about Fire Warden training or and fire safety requirements then please get in touch with our friendly team.