Each workplace is required to have at least one designated fire marshal or fire warden to ensure proper safety plans are in place in the event of a fire. They check equipment regularly and inform their fellow coworkers on the plans in place in the office.
It’s an important responsibility and one that can help employees learn a lot about fire safety and evacuation plans in the workplace. If you’re the fire marshal or fire warden in your workplace, here’s some tips on how to be prepared for your role.
A fire warden’s main responsibility is to manage safe evacuation of everyone in their workplace or designated area during an emergency. Check the building’s emergency exits and make sure they are in proper working order. Reach out to your co-workers and let them know to reach out to you if they need any assistance in the event of an evacuation.
Here are some hazards in the workplace, as explained by Protect & Detect UK:
“[The] key to being a good fire marshal is carrying out regular checks around the company’s premises. These include making sure no items obstruct exits and that all routes out of the building are suitable for people who have disabilities. Any smoking areas should be kept clear, with all receptacles removed on a regular basis.
Equipment should be inspected on a monthly basis. This can include smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers to name a few. Your workplace will have a full list of all the equipment available in the building, and if they don’t, contact the building supervisor to make one.
Check with your employer as to how often there are mandatory fire drills and fire safety meetings. You have a responsibility as fire marshal to make sure co-workers know how to stay safe in the workplace, prevent fires, and evacuate in the event of a fire.
Using the fire safety documents outlined in your building’s safety plan, write down the evacuation plans for your office. Once a year (or more depending on your workplace), have a fire safety meeting with your office and go over your evacuation plan. This includes how to spot fires in the building, what hallways and exits to take, and where the work’s meeting place will be outside.
The University of Toronto Mississauga goes through key steps during an evacuation:
“Advise all persons within your assigned area to evacuate via the nearest safe exit during a fire or other emergency. Assist in the evacuation of persons with disabilities. Once your assigned area is clear, ensure that the entrance into the building is not congested. Direct people away from the entrance of the buildings.”
Read and continually review the Fire Safety Plan in your workplace and building. This will ensure you know the proper drills and steps to take in the event of a fire and other emergency.
It’s also important that you get the proper certifications and training if it’s required at your work. We offer fire safety course training for workplaces designated fire marshals and all employees. We offer half-day safety course training programs and cover how to use and handle fire extinguishers, the fundamentals of fire prevention and emergency response in the workplace.