The Consequences of Not Completing Fire Marshal Training

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The Consequences of Not Completing Fire Marshal Training

The obligations of owning and running a business can seem extensive, but each obligation has merit.

When it comes to health and safety, it might seem easier to delay or ignore some of the required training, especially if it seems like it won’t be needed. But that’s a mistake that could cost you dearly.

Fire marshal training is essential but can feel like something you’ll never need. After all, how many fires really happen? But forgoing the training can result in dire circumstances for more than just yourself.

Here, we take a sobering look at the consequences of not completing your fire marshal training.

What Is Fire Marshal Training?

Fire marshal training is a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. 

Ensuring at least one employee in your business is fire marshal trained ensures your staff members are kept safe at work. It also protects your business against legal action or losses due to fire-related accidents or incidents.  

During an online or in-person fire marshal training course, participants will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to manage fire safely and look after their people should the worst occur. 

The course itself covers topics such as fire safety awareness, smoke and fire behaviour, common causes and how to identify risks. Participants will take part in practical elements such as using a fire extinguisher and will complete the course with a full understanding of their new role and the responsibilities involved. 

Successful completion of the course qualifies an individual for three years, at which point renewal must occur for the marshal to be deemed competent and allowed to continue as a workplace fire marshal. 

How many fire marshals your business requires depends on factors like the level of fire risk present in your workplace and the size of your organisation.

In the event of an emergency, your fire marshal will be calm and competent and ensure protocol is followed. And fire or no fire, they will assess and maintain fire equipment and processes, like the log book and fire extinguishers, to keep you compliant. 

The Role Of The Fire Marshal

The responsibilities of a fire marshal fall into two main categories. Let’s look at them both.

Reducing Fire Risks

To reduce the risk of a fire occurring in the workplace, a fire marshal must identify risks and hazards. This includes carrying out checks on doors, alarms, emergency lighting, exits and break glass call points. A fire marshal will make sure that your building is equipped with the right kind of kit suited to your potential fire hazards. 


In the event of a fire, the fire marshal must raise the alarm and alert everyone in the building. They must also call the fire service immediately. 

The fire marshal’s next job is to guide people to the emergency exits calmly and safely. They must help vulnerable individuals and prevent anyone from re-entering the building until it is safe. A sweep of each floor of the building is necessary to ensure everyone is out. 

The Consequences of Not Completing Fire Marshal Training

The Legal Requirements In The UK

All businesses must have a fire warden on site. 

The relevant piece of legislation for England and Wales is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and organisations in Scotland must adhere to the Fire Scotland Act (2005) and the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations (2006).

You are also legally obliged to have a fire risk assessment carried out by a ‘competent person’, and this refers to someone who has been fire marshal trained. The risk assessment must be recorded, and any highlighted causes for concern must be appropriately dealt with to ensure compliance is maintained. 

The Consequences To Your Business

Okay, so what happens if you don’t follow the rules?

Legal Penalties and Fines

To put it simply, you could be fined or go to prison. 

Local fire and rescue authority officials will check your premises to make sure your risk assessment and fire prevention measures are adequate. They can take action if your provision is not appropriate in the form of:

  • An informal notice.
  • A formal fire safety notice. This will include helpful information describing how to fix the identified issues. A prohibition notice is the most serious of these and takes effect immediately. 

Increased Risk of Fire Incidents

If you fail to comply with UK fire safety legislation, you are putting your people and your business at serious risk. Without fire safety processes in place and at least one fire marshal trained and operational, no one will be actively reducing fire risks in your workplace.

Property And Possession Damage

Even a small fire can get out of hand quickly, and any amount of fire means damage to possessions and property.

Impact On Insurance Coverage

With no fire prevention in place, if your business suffers from a fire, you’ll see a huge increase in insurance when you need to renew because of the heightened risk. 

Reputation Damage

Consider what a lack of fire safety practice says about your business. Failing to train the appropriate amount of employees as fire marshals and perform a comprehensive fire safety risk assessment shines a light on your being dangerous and uncaring towards your staff, customers and neighbouring businesses. 

The Consequences For Your People

All that aside, the greatest risk in the event of a fire is to your people. And your people ARE your business; where would it be without them?

Forgoing fire marshal training to save a few pennies leaves you open to disaster. 

If no one knows what to do in the event of a fire, everyone in that building is at risk of injury and death. Every single person, including yourself. 

Are You Compliant With UK Fire Safety Legislation?

Don’t put off fire marshal training, and remember to re-enrol your existing marshals in a refresher course if their certification is about to expire. 

Choosing to look the other way or forgetting your responsibilities as a business owner is not just a risk for you and your livelihood. It’s a risk for everyone you’re responsible for. 

Looking for more information on health and safety? Get in touch.

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