A workplace fire has the potential to severely impact your business and jeopardize the safety of your employees. To safeguard against these risks, it’s important to designate a fire marshal, a responsibility that can be undertaken by a manager or property owners. These appointed individuals are responsible for ensuring that all legal obligations pertaining to fire safety are adhered to, including fire-safe practices and fire extinguisher training. This is valuable to ensure that the workplace maintains an acceptable standard of fire safety.
What is a Fire Marshal?
In accordance with regulations, it falls upon landlords, owners, and managers to take proactive measures to uphold fire safety standards. This includes executing fire risk assessment procedures, imparting fire awareness training, and ensuring rigorous adherence to all fire safety protocols.
The individual fulfilling this role may include:
- Building owner
- An occupant of the premises
The responsible individual is required to designate a fire marshal, whose primary responsibility is to identify all potential fire risks and ensure strict compliance with fire safety procedures. In the event of an emergency, the fire marshal's duty extends to guaranteeing the safe evacuation of all occupants from the building and ensuring the immediate vicinity of the structure remains secure.
Essential Fire Marshal Duties
The role of a fire marshal encompasses a range of responsibilities that are crucial for maintaining fire safety within a workplace. To gain a deeper understanding of their role, we can categorize these duties into two primary areas: those requiring daily vigilance and those that come into play when a fire emergency unfolds.
Daily Fire Safety Vigilance:
- Fire Risk Assessment - Fire marshals are tasked with conducting regular fire risk assessments to identify potential hazards and assess the level of risk within the premises. This is an ongoing process that involves meticulous inspection and documentation.
- Training and Education - Fire marshals are responsible for ensuring that employees receive adequate fire safety training. This includes familiarizing them with fire evacuation procedures, the location of firefighting equipment, and general fire safety awareness.
- Fire Safety Protocol Enforcement - They play a vital role in enforcing fire safety protocols on a day-to-day basis. This involves monitoring and ensuring that fire exits are unobstructed, fire doors remain closed, and firefighting equipment is well-maintained and easily accessible.
- Emergency Response Planning - Fire marshals must collaborate with relevant parties to develop and refine emergency response plans. This includes organizing regular fire drills and ensuring that all occupants are aware of evacuation routes and assembly points.
The Fire Marshal's Responsibilities During an Emergency
In the event of a fire outbreak, it’s common for individuals to panic and forget the lessons learned during their fire safety training. Dealing with a fire emergency can quickly turn into a chaotic situation and lead to confusion, resulting in potential injuries and actions that may inadvertently exacerbate the fire.
The pivotal role of a fire marshal in an emergency is to maintain calm and ensure the orderly evacuation of the building promptly. When a fire incident occurs within a building, the designated fire marshal assumes the following tasks:
- Promptly raising the alarm and notifying relevant authorities upon detecting a fire
- Ensuring the closure of all fire doors and access to fireproof spaces
- Assisting the safe evacuation of any vulnerable individuals within the building
- Conducting a meticulous roll call and headcount to guarantee the evacuation of all personnel
- Coordinating and communicating effectively with emergency responders, such as the fire brigade or paramedics
- When it is safe to do so, take measures to control the fire's spread using appropriate firefighting equipment
Enhance Your Fire Safety Expertise with AIP Safety's Fire Extinguisher Course
AIP Safety's Fire Extinguisher Course is designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of fire classifications and hands-on training in the:
- Identification of different classes of fire
- Fundamentals of fire chemistry – including the elements of fire, its nature and stages
- Different types of fire
- Determine which class of fire extinguisher to be used in different situations
- Proper fire-fighting techniques
- Proper extinguisher use
- Inspection of extinguisher
After you’ve completed the course, you’ll have the confidence and competence to respond swiftly and efficiently during fire emergencies.