Unfortunately, fire risk is one which all businesses face, some more than others due to the nature of their work or location.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 says that all businesses must take appropriate steps to protect themselves and others from fire risk within their business. A part of this is nominating and Fire Wardens (sometimes called Fire Marshals).
Fire wardens are appointed members of staff who have undertaken fire warden training in order to play a role in the fire safety procedures of a business.
The duties of a fire warden can be mixed and will differ from business to business depending on factors such as the location, the business type, the work activities, the number of fire wardens, the equipment on site etc.
Usually, fire wardens, responsibilities will be split into categories. They will undertake daily, weekly and monthly safety measures but will also have specific tasks to carry out in the case of an emergency.
The tasks built included within each fire wardens role should be well suited to the business. They should be relevant, manageable and in line with other safety procedures.
Being a fire warden is an important role, and so employers should consider carefully who it’s given to. Supervisors and managers are usually given the role because they have already displayed a responsible attitude.
Possible tasks for a fire warden on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
– Fire alarms. Checking regularly that alarms are in good working order as well as conducting a weekly fire alarm test.
– Emergency exits. Checking they are free from obstructions and able to be opened easily in the event of an emergency.
– Fire extinguishers. Checking they are in the correct place, untampered with, easily visible and fully stocked.
– Fire doors. Check the fire doors are in undamaged and are kept closed at all times.
– Emergency lighting. Check the lights to make sure they’re charged and working correctly.
– Fire safety signs. Is the signage clear, undamaged and unobstructed?
– General housekeeping. Make sure that potential sources of ignition are stored correctly, gas outlets are switched off and chemicals and equipment is used correctly.
– Electrical equipment. Ensure PAT testing is up to date and that none PAT tested items aren’t used on site.
– Staff induction. Training new staff on the fire procedures of the business or update all staff when changes are made.
– Fire drills. Carry out a fire drill twice a year to practise the emergency procedure.
Maintaining records. Record all fire safety actions.
Possible tasks for a fire warden in an emergency.
The top priority for the business is to make sure everyone is safely evacuated from the building. In order to contribute to this aim, fire wardens might help with the following:
– Raise the alarm.
– Close fire doors to prevent the fire from spreading.
– Ensure vulnerable people are assisted out of the building
– Ensure everyone has exited the left.
– Use fire extinguishers or other fire fighting equipment.
– Run a roll call to ensure everybody is accounted for.
– Liaise with emergency services.
Fire wardens should know clearly what each of their tasks is. They should only carry out tasks which they have been trained to do and they should never put themselves in danger in order to carry out a task.