How many fire wardens should there be in your workplace

All workplaces require fire wardens on the premises for safety and risk mitigation. How many fire wardens should there be in your workplace depends on a number of factors. As a general rule, one warden is sufficient for every 50 people. Other spaces may be found to be at a much higher risk of a fire. In such a case, you may require one warden for every 15 to 20 people. 

What’s the required number of fire wardens in an office workplace?

Legal and safety requirements for offices include a fire warden. Fire wardens in an office are a necessary safety requirement. How many fire wardens should there be in your workplace also depends on whether the risk is mild to severe. As this is a difficult assessment to make, you will also need professional evaluation. This also includes considering the employees who may be at higher risk in the event of a fire.

What is a fire warden?

A fire warden is an employee from your workplace. These are members you appoint from your staff who also assume the role of a fire warden. This appointment is also subject to a few base criteria. The selected individual must also have undergone specific fire warden training. This training enables wardens to mitigate fire risks and manage actual fire situations.

You can only appoint fire wardens among employees with certified training. Their role in the workplace is to manage fire risk. They can also take over in the event of an emergency. Also, given their training, they qualify as the responsible person for fire safety. 

What are the responsibilities of fire wardens?

Fire wardens look out for the safety of the workplace. Their main role revolves around meeting all safety protocols. The primary goal is to reduce the risk of a fire incident as much as possible. In the case of an emergency, their role shifts to ensuring the safety of those around them. 

A fire warden’s duties and responsibilities include: 

  • Ensuring all fire safety systems are in place. These include fire alarms, emergency exits and fire extinguishers. 
  • Maintaining all safety systems to ensure they are in good working order
  • Ensuring compliance to general safety guidelines to minimize fire risk
  • Organizing basic fire safety training and drills for the staff
  • Taking steps to limit the spread of fire, such as closing fire doors
  • Ensuring assistance for vulnerable and more at-risk individuals
  • Maintaining correspondence with emergency services 

Fire wardens take a vigilant and active role during fire emergencies. In addition, they must also work consistently to ensure workplace safety. Their main duty is to reduce the risk of fire. 

What is the difference between a Fire warden and Fire marshal

The two titles are often used interchangeably. There is no legal distinction between a fire marshal and a fire warden. Both individuals are responsible for safety in preparation for and in case of a fire. Within smaller organisations, there may be little distinctions between the two. Regardless of the title, the appointed individual would fulfil the same duties. However, in larger organisations, you may appoint different individuals to both roles. 

Larger organisations may appoint different individuals as division of labour. This is simply to help with fire safety protocol, as there is a lot more ground to cover. A fire warden in such a case would also ensure the evacuation of the building. Their focus will be on making sure all personnel have safely exited the building in case of a fire. The fire marshal conducts evacuation procedures from the outside.

Regardless of the title, a fire warden or marshal are both responsible for fire safety. They perform interchangeable roles except where a division of duties is necessary. Practically, there is very little variance between the two titles. 

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Is it a legal requirement to have a fire warden?

The Fire Safety Order of 2005 sets out the law for fire wardens. The legislation states that competent individuals must be appointed for fire safety. These individuals must also have access to appropriate training and safety equipment. They must also be adequate in number and proportionate to the size of the organization. 

Fire warden training – What is involved?

Fire warden training is a training course that covers a variety of safety domains. These include covering all fire-relevant laws and legislation for the workplace. The training also teaches potential causes of fire and fire prevention methods. Fire wardens are further trained in safety and emergency procedures for actual fires. They also receive training for managing people and containing situations under stress. 

Fire wardens are also trained to take emergency steps during a fire. This can include learning to use a fire extinguisher and organising evacuation. They also receive training on appropriate evacuation procedures and emergency steps. Training involves thoroughly familiarising wardens with their duties and responsibilities. It enables them to always be ready for action in an emergency. 

How do I work out how many fire marshals I need?

The number of fire marshals required depends on your assessment. General guidelines suggest one marshal for every 15 people. How many fire wardens should there be in your workplace is determined from many factors.

What factors will influence fire warden numbers?

A number of factors influence fire warden numbers in the workplace, including:

  • The results of professional fire risk assessments. If your workplace is high-risk, you will also require more fire marshals.
  • The number of employees you have. Larger numbers will require more supervision. 
  • The size of your workspace. Employees spread out over several floors may require a fire marshal based on each floor. 
  • Rotating shifts and work schedules. You will also need to ensure that the same number of wardens are present at each shift. 
  • In the case of leaves and absences, you should still have enough fire marshals available 

Office interior design with fire safety in mind

Interior designing can often prioritize aesthetic over safety. While designing your office space, consider fire hazards and take precautions. Good interior design does not compromise one for the other. We ensure all interior designing keeps fire safety as a priority. All proper UK safety measures are also incorporated into functional and aesthetic designs. Commercial buildings typically pose a greater fire risk. It is important to ensure the design always takes safety into consideration. If you are interested in discussing anything you have read in this article, please contact us.