Does my business need a fire marshal?

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If your business is operating out of its own premises (whether as owner-occupiers or renters), then you will almost certainly need at least one fire marshal to help with your fire safety obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

This month, we’re taking a close look at the subject of fire marshals and fire wardens in commercial premises: who they are, what they do, how many you need – and how Hoyles Fire & Safety can help train your fire marshals so that they will be effective and confident in the event of a fire at your premises.

What is a fire marshal?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that each business should appoint a ‘responsible person’ to oversee all aspects of fire safety on company premises. To help them in this task, that responsible person then needs to appoint a number of fire marshals.

It’s worth noting here that the Fire Safety Order does not refer to fire marshals or fire wardens specifically – it merely states that the responsible person should appoint ‘competent persons’. Nevertheless, when talking about fire marshals and wardens in a commercial premises, this is the role we are looking at.

Fire marshals have a number of very important responsibilities, so you need to make sure that you choose people who are strong and confident communicators and who are likely to remain calm in an emergency situation.

They also need special fire warden training so that they can carry out their roles effectively.


does my business need a fire marshal

Fire marshal responsibilities

Although the responsible person has overall liability for fire safety in the workplace, many of the day-to-day tasks are usually delegated to fire marshals. This could include:

● Checking fire alarms, fire extinguishers and emergency lighting
● Checking that emergency exits and fire doors are clear of obstructions
● Arranging fire drills
● Assisting with fire risk assessments
● Keeping records
● Communicating fire safety procedures and preventative measures to other staff
● Helping ensure safe evacuation of staff and visitors in an emergency

How many fire wardens should there be in your workplace?

The number of fire wardens needed in your workplace will be dictated by your fire risk assessment. The recommended number will take into account a number of factors, including:

● The particular fire risks associated with your business – each business is usually designated high, medium or low risk
● The size of the building, including the number of floors over which it spreads – you will need at least one fire marshal for each floor
● The number of staff – high risk premises may need one marshal for every 15 members of staff, while those designated as low risk may only need one marshal per 50 staff.

You also need to make sure that there are enough trained marshals so that there will always be the minimum required number on site at any time, including covering different shifts and for staff absent through illness or holiday.

Exit Sign with Emergency Lighting

Fire warden training with Hoyles Fire & Safety

As previously mentioned, for your wardens to do their jobs effectively – in effect, for them to count as ‘competent’ under the terms of the Fire Safety Order – they require specialist training.

At Hoyles Fire & Safety, we provide fire marshal training courses run by industry professionals that will train your designated staff in:

● Fire safety legislation
● The causes of fire
● The responsibilities of a fire marshal – including evacuation, conducting roll calls and checking fire safety equipment
● Handling fire extinguishers
● And more

Want to know more or to arrange training for your team? Then get in touch with the fire safety experts at Hoyles Fire & Safety today. Our fire safety training is available to businesses operating in and around Huddersfield, Leeds and Bradford.

Get in touch for training today using the form below 

By Hoyles Fire and Safety Ltd

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