Fire Marshal duties are one of the most important contributions to fire safety in your business, but are you clear what they are? Our simple guide below explains all.
It might surprise you to learn that a Fire Marshal’s main duty is to prevent fires. Sure, they have an important role to play in evacuating the building and containing and tackling small blazes in the unhappy event that a fire occurs, but it’s the day-to-day duties that can bring the most benefit.
Here’s 15 ‘Reactive’ Fire Marshal duties that could keep your business safe from fire.
Fire Marshal duties #1: checking your EMERGENCY EXITS. They should be free from obstruction at all times, inside and out, and able to be opened.
Fire Marshal duties #2: checking your FIRE EXTINGUISHERS. Are they in the right position, have they been serviced, and are they indicated by signs?
Fire Marshal duties #3: checking your FIRE DOORS weekly. Are they in good working order and are they being kept closed?
Fire Marshal duties #4: checking your ‘BREAK GLASS CALL POINTS‘. These are the devices fixed to the wall where you can manually sound the fire alarm by breaking the glass. They should always be visible and indicated by signs.
Fire Marshal duties #5: checking your EMERGENCY LIGHTING every month. All the lights should be working order and if they aren’t, an electrician or fire safety company should be contacted.
Fire Marshal duties #6: testing your FIRE ALARM weekly. We’ve all experienced the weekly fire alarm test, what we might not have known is it’s often a fire marshal’s duty to carry it out.
Fire Marshal duties #7: checking your FIRE SAFETY SIGNS. Are the right signs in the right places and happily and securely stuck?
Fire Marshal duties #8: checking your GENERAL HOUSEKEEPING. Are combustible materials stored away from sources of heat? And are exit routes kept clear and free of clutter?
Fire Marshal duties #9: checking your SMOKING AREAS. Are they kept clean and ashtrays emptied regularly?
Fire Marshal duties #10: controlling your HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. Are flammable liquids and other dangerous substances kept correctly?
Fire Marshal duties #11: carrying out NEW STAFF SAFETY INDUCTIONS. Did you know that all new starters must have fire safety awareness training, and all staff should have an annual refresher?
Fire Marshal duties #12: making sure electrical devices are PAT TESTED. Faulty electrical devices are one of the most common causes of workplaces fires.
Fire Marshal duties #13: organising FIRE DRILLS at least annually. Your team should know how to exit the building in case of fire and the evacuation procedure should be assessed to make sure it works.
Fire Marshal duties #14: managing all PAPERWORK AND THE LOGBOOK. Legislation requires that all fire safety activities are accurately documented.
Fire Marshal duties #15: owning your FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT. Alongside your ‘Responsible Person’, your Fire Marshals can help deliver the recommendations in your Fire Risk Assessment.
So far, so good. But what if, despite all your Fire Marshals’ best efforts, you’re unlucky enough to have a fire? Well, we’ve got a guide for that too.
Here’s 8 ‘Proactive’ Fire Marshal duties to be carried out in case of fire.
Fire Marshal duties #16: RAISING THE ALARM in case of fire. And contacting the fire brigade too, if you’re business isn’t automatically linked to the services.
Fire Marshal duties #17: closing DOORS AND FIRE DOORS to help prevent fire spreading.
Fire Marshal duties #18: pointing people towards the EMERGENCY EXITS. Does everyone know where to go and how to proceed?
Fire Marshal duties #19: assisting DISABLED OR PREGNANT team members. Fire Marshals should have a ‘buddy’ or ‘PEEP’ system (‘Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan’) in place for more vulnerable colleagues.
Fire Marshal duties #20: conducting a FLOOR SWEEP. Has everyone left the premises? The sweep should include toilets and walk-in storage areas.
Fire Marshal duties #21: tackling small blazes with FIRE EXTINGUISHERS. Your Fire Marshals should know how to use an extinguisher and be confident using one to fight a small fire safely.
Fire Marshal duties #22: help with the ROLL CALL at the assembly point. Has everyone exited safely and are absences accounted for?
As you can see, Fire Marshal duties are both specific and specialised. Your Fire Marshals should be fully trained and have their training refreshed regularly.
Read our useful guide ‘how many Fire Marshals do I need?‘
See our Fire Marshal Training Course