If you run a business, you might have heard the term fire marshal, but what exactly is one? What do they do? And why is fire marshal training so important?
Having someone who knows exactly what to do in an emergency makes everyone feel safer. In this blog, we’ll run through everything you need to know about fire marshal training.
The Role Of A Fire Marshal
A fire marshal’s main duties are to minimise the risk of fires happening in the workplace and guide people out safely if one does occur. But a trained, qualified fire marshal’s responsibilities go much further than that.
Reducing the risk of a fire taking place in the workplace is the fire marshal’s long-standing duty.
To do this, the fire marshal must identify potential risks and hazards in the vicinity. This usually includes carrying out fire checks on significant aspects such as fire doors, alarms, signs, and emergency lighting, as well as regularly checking emergency exits and break glass call points.
When a new employee joins the team, a fire marshal must complete a fire safety induction with them to ensure they know what to do if an emergency occurs. Fire marshal training is comprehensive and includes teaching how to run fire drills, and correctly update and complete your fire safety logbook and associated paperwork.
Fire marshal training also prepares candidates for what to do if a fire actually occurs.
The fire marshal must raise the alarm as soon as they are made aware of a fire in the building; this means alerting all occupants of the building as well as calling the fire service.
The next job of the fire marshal is to guide the people in the building to the emergency exits calmly and safely, ensuring all individuals evacuate the building as quickly as possible. Fire marshals must check on and help any vulnerable individuals whilst evacuating and prevent anyone from returning to the building until it is safe to do so.
As the building empties, the fire marshal should sweep each floor to check everyone is out and close all windows and fire doors on their way out to help isolate or contain the fire should it begin to spread.
Using Fire Equipment
Sometimes, a minor fire can be efficiently put out with an extinguisher or other fire equipment, like a fire blanket. A fire marshal will make sure that your building is equipped with the right kind of kit suited to your potential fire hazards.
Fire marshal training enables prospective fire marshals to experience using a fire extinguisher ahead of fires in the workplace. This helps solidify their newfound knowledge and gives them the confidence to remain calm and carry out their duties in an emergency.
Regulations And Requirements
Your business’s fire risk assessment will determine how many fire marshals you legally require.
In a usual office environment, a ratio of one fire marshal to every twenty employees is standard because it’s likely that the risk of fire is low. However, having two fire marshals is recommended because splitting the load helps account for working from home, shift patterns, holidays, and absences.
Other elements also influence how many fire marshals your business needs. Restaurants and industrial premises are typically high-risk because they feature multiple sources of heat and house flammable liquids and gases. Hospitals, care homes, schools, and childcare settings are also considered high-risk because of the nature of the occupants involved and both the scale and difficulty of getting everyone out safely.
Buildings with convoluted layouts and businesses operating over multiple levels of a property may require more individuals skilled in fire marshal training.
What Does Fire Marshal Training Cover?
During your in-person or online fire marshal training course, you will gain the knowledge and skills to manage fire safely and keep the people in your workplace safe.
The course will cover things like:
- Fire safety awareness
- Fire and smoke behaviour basics, including the fire triangle and how fire spreads
- Common causes of workplace fire
- How to identify risks and hazards
- Undertaking fire risk assessments
- How to use a fire extinguisher, including a practical
- Fire exits and signage: What are the legal requirements?
- A fire marshal’s role and responsibilities
How Long Does Fire Marshal Course Last?
The one-day course is valid for three years. Qualified fire marshals should ensure their qualification is renewed prior to the expiry date. Once a certificate expires the fire marshal is no longer considered to be competent to act as a workplace fire marshal.
Why Is A Fire Marshal Needed?
Fire marshal training is a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and forms a huge part of your business’s fire safety strategy.
Fire marshal training for at least one employee in your business keeps your people safe from harm and your business safe from coming under legal action or suffering losses at the hands of a devastating incident.
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.
Who Should Be A Fire Marshal?
So you need a fire marshal, but who should you choose to be your designated responsible person to undergo fire marshal training? Remember, how many fire marshals you need depends on the layout of the premises and the type of workplace, so you might need more than one.
Anyone can take fire marshal training. The ideal candidate is a reliable person with natural authority and a calm disposition. The role of the fire marshal is a big responsibility and is best suited to individuals who are organised, competent, and, most importantly, present.
Fire Marshal Training Is A Legal Requirement
The role of a fire marshal is more than helping to evacuate your premises in an emergency and doing a headcount in the car park.
Providing fire marshal training for responsible employees will give your team the confidence they need to be proactive and reactive if a fire occurs.
Unsure how many fire marshals you need? Looking for in-house fire marshal training, or an eLearning course? Talk to us today to see how we can help.
How Much Does A Fire Marshal Course Cost?
If you attend a public classroom course, the cost ranges from £77.00 + VAT – £140.00 + VAT per person, taking into account the various discount opportunities available. If you decide to book an in-house course for 12 candidates, the cost reduces to around £65.00 + VAT per person.