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What is a fire marshal and why does my business need one?

10 April 2024

As a UK workplace, you have a responsibility to maintain the highest standards of safety, especially when it comes to mitigating fire risk and safeguarding your workers. From completing risk assessments and conducting fire drills to devising appropriate evacuation plans and having the correct equipment available, every step you take to minimise fire risk within your business premises matters.

Another key responsibility as a UK business is to appoint a fire marshal within your workplace. But, what is a fire marshal and why does your business need one?

What exactly is a fire marshal?

A fire marshal or warden is a staff member who is appointed and responsible for reducing fire risk within a business or non-domestic premises. Fire marshals have several day-to-day duties to enable them to prevent fires, uphold a high standard of fire safety, and protect anyone using the building (including employees and visitors).

Why does your business need a fire marshal?

Every business needs a fire marshal. Fire marshals promote fire safety and associated procedures, check fire doors and escape routes, keep fire safety equipment accessible, and make sure signage, floor plans and action notices are intact and clearly displayed in line with the latest legislation. They are also charged with carrying out regular fire risk assessments to identify new hazards and manage existing dangers.

During emergencies, their duties continue, with a fire marshal responsible for evacuating the workforce and operating equipment to protect lives. The benefits of having a fire marshal to prevent fire and protect workers in your business are many, with the devastating impact of fire (including the financial cost) able to be avoided.

Is appointing a fire marshal a legal requirement?

Having a person that is competent enough to manage fire safety and minimise risk isn’t just a moral obligation, it’s a legal requirement.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO), every employer, owner, landlord, occupier or manager of a non-domestic premises should appoint and equip a ‘responsible person’. If this responsible person is a trained fire marshal, then even better!

How can you ensure your fire marshals are prepared?

Our Fire Marshal Train the Trainer course gives all delegates the knowledge and support they need to deliver effective training to nurture the next generation of fire wardens or marshals.

Suitable for beginners to experienced practitioners, this two-day syllabus provides vital training on fire procedures, preventative measures and checks, fire marshal duties, firefighting equipment, and training delivery. City & Guilds certification and registration is awarded upon completion, along with all course materials and free post-course support.

You can find further information about our Fire Marshal Train the Trainer course here.

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