Do You Have To Have A Fire Marshal At Work?
“Do you have to have a fire marshal at work?” is a common question. In this article, we answer this question and also explain what the duties of a Fire Marshal are.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 does not use the terminology fire marshal or fire warden. It talks about the responsible person, which is not the same thing.
The Responsible Person And The Fire Marshal
Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 every employer who occupies a building, regardless of whether they own or rent it, is classed as the responsible person
The duties of the responsible person include establishing emergency procedures and nominating a sufficient number of competent persons to implement those procedures. A competent person is one who has adequate training and experience or knowledge to enable them properly to implement the evacuation procedures.
Therefore a trained fire marshal is required at your work!
The Duties Of A Fire Marshal
Not surprisingly, a Fire Marshal’s main duty is to prevent fires.
The responsible person is actually the duty-holder for everything else. However, they will not necessarily carry out all duties themselves and often the duties are delegated to fire marshals.
These duties generally include keeping the fire log book up to date by carrying out the fire checks required on items such as extinguishers, alarms and lighting, arranging fire drills and fire safety housekeeping checks. Fire prevention is also an important part of the role.
Type Of Training Required
All employees should receive fire safety training. The training should cover the fire risk assessment, fire prevention and actions to take in the event of a fire.
In addition, fire marshal courses should also include training in managing evacuation procedures. Some courses also cover the use of fire extinguishers. Would probably be good to detail the exact relevant course.
Number Of Fire Marshals Required
The number of fire marshals required should be dictated by the results of the fire risk assessment.
In an office environment, the overall fire risk is likely to be low to medium. Therefore, one fire marshal to every twenty employees would be acceptable. However, this figure will change depending upon the office layout. For example, if you operate over several floors of a building, then each level should have a fire marshal.
You also need to consider:
- shift patterns
- holiday cover
- sickness absences
- higher risk areas, such as staff canteen