Fire Warden Training: Does your business need it?

businessThe Regulatory Reform Order or the Fire Safety Order of 2005 made it a requirement that all of the employees in a business or work environment need to have at least basic fire warden training. All business owners have the responsibility to make sure that their business gives a sufficient number of persons responsible for it.

It means that you need to have enough people trained as fire wardens to help you in case of an emergency. The number of fire wardens that you need will depend on the number of employees that you have in your workplace.

What is a fire warden?

A fire warden or a fire marshal is a member of a staff that is trained with the sole responsibility of helping to prevent and fight cases of fire within the business organization or the workplace. They conduct observations and checks to make sure that the people in the workplace are safe in case a fire related emergency where to occur.

What will the role of a fire warden be?

In case of a fire, the role of a fire warden is to ensure an organized and safe evacuation of the building. The job is to help anyone who is in need of additional support. During the evacuation process, the fire warden will be responsible for registering all of the employees. They also have to share the information about the incident with the fire services that will arrive on the scene.

What does the training involve?

The fire warden training or the fire marshal training course is normally  a half-day training seminar that involves learning for two hours in a classroom-based setting. You also need to attend a practice session for two-hours. This training course is delivered by a fire officer who is already off service or a qualified person who can conduct the seminar. It allows the participants to try out and discover different kinds of equipment and fire extinguishers in a simulated live fire.

What is a fire responsible person training?

It is an alternate course that covers all of the legal requirements of a responsible person. They will learn how to regulate a fire risk assessment and how to go over the basic provisions.

They will also go through all of the fire safety policy. This alternate course will also teach employees how to manage or supervise the workplace during an emergency. An evacuation guide will also be given. Additionally, the responsible person will deliver the course to the employees. This can help teach them to be capable to handle any emergency.

What are the responsibilities of a fire warden?

The most crucial role that a fire warden or marshal plays is making sure that the workplace is prepared to handle a fire emergency. Together with an emergency plan and proper training, fire wardens are a part of a risk control plan to make sure that the organization is prepared in case an emergency happens. All establishments are advised to choose their fire wardens very carefully.

Some of the duties of a fire warden include the following:

  • They help prevent incidents by monitoring all of the fire risk control plans or measures and their adequacy.
  • They should assist in improving and implementing effective emergency procedures in the workplace
  • They help inform the other employees about all the fire hazards that are in the workplace.
  • They can instruct employees and visitors in how to react and respond during emergencies.
  • They can help lead the plans, the fire drills, and can help with evacuation procedures. They must also know the routes and all the exits from their designated area.
  • They can assist all of those in the workplace in case an emergency where to occur. This includes assisting pregnant women and those with special needs.

If there is a fire alarm that goes off, fire wardens have the responsibility to assist the workers and the visitors in evacuating the premises immediately and to make sure that the area has been cleared.

During an emergency evacuation, all fire wardens are expected to:

  • They are expected to lead everyone and to assist them as they leave the workplace using all of the exits and routes
  • They are expected to check all of the accessible areas like the bathroom or workplace cubicles, to ensure that all have left the premises. This should be done on their way out of the premises so that the fire warden won’t have to put themselves at risk by entering the area again.
  • They are expected to close the doors in order to help isolate the fire
  • They are expected to guide everybody to the area where everyone is assembled and to assist in making sure that each and everyone has arrived safely.

All fire wardens should have a full authority to organize a needed evacuation and the workers should also know that the fire warden has the authority to do so. All fire wardens should also check that the fire exits are clear at all times.

Is there any requirement to have fire wardens?

Even though there is no requirement that is stated in the law to have fire wardens, it is crucial to have fire wardens to make sure that you meet your safety and health obligations in relation to emergency procedures and plans.

According to standard planning for fire emergencies in establishments, there is a specific requirement for a control organization on emergencies to be established and there should be an appointment of deputy and chief fire wardens for a facility or a building.

Also, according to the law stated, a control organization for emergencies is someone or a group of people that are appointed to control and direct the addition of the response procedures of a facility. It is the fire warden or a team that are appointed in your workplace that should carry out the roles stated above.

Is there any legal requirement needed for training fire wardens?

There is no legal training that is required for fire wardens that exists in the legislation, but it is highly recommended that the fire wardens in your workplace are trained and that they take a refresher course every 6 to 12 months so that they can remain up to date with all of the regulatory and statutory changes to their duties.

How many wardens should be appointed?

The number of fire wardens that you should have would depend on the nature and the size of your business. If your store has flammable substances then it needs higher risk control measures, thus you needing more fire wardens.

For small businesses, you may need at least one fire warden who knows about the layout of your area, the location of the fire exits, and someone who can manage an evacuation during an emergency.

For medium to large organizations, it is common to have a deputy or a chief warden for the whole establishment, and depending on the size of the area and floors and the extent of the risks during an emergency, a floor warden for each area and floor is needed.

You must not rely solely on the fire wardens. All of the employees must understand how to respond and react during a fire emergency.



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