Fire Marshalls NDST Ltd

Fire marshall services, wardens and bomb drills

The principal duties of the fire warden are to;

  • take appropriate and effective action if a fire occurs
  • ensure that escape routes are available for use
  • identify hazards in the workplace
  • record and report their observations

If a fire is discovered, the fire warden should:

  • ensure that the alarm has been raised
  • check that manufacturing processes have been made safe
  • evacuate staff from the building or area involved
  • check that any staff or visitors with disabilities are assisted as planned
  • call the reporting centre and give details of the location,
  • severity and cause of the fire, if known
  • fight the fire if it is safe to do so

When the evacuation signal is heard, the fire wardens should ensure that everyone leaves the area as quickly and orderly as possible, ensuring that security measures, such as closing fire-resistant safes, are undertaken, if this can be done without causing a significant delay in the evacuation procedure. Electrical equipment should also be turned off and windows shut if possible.

When the area for which the warden is responsible has been evacuated, a rapid, methodical search should be undertaken to ensure that on-one remains in storerooms, toilets and similar areas.

The warden should then go to the assembly point and take part in the roll call procedure there. It may be the fire warden’s or security officer’s tasks to ensure that no-one re-enters before the fire brigade officer gives permission.

All fire wardens have an important role to play in the fire risk assessment. Any changes to work practices or modifications to existing processes may introduce unforeseen problems. Similarly, changes in procedures may result in the introduction of additional sources of ignition or different types of combustible materials. Any hazards that may be perceived should be reported to the fire safety manager who should consider them, in the light of the fire risk assessment, at the earliest opportunity.

Fire and Bomb Drills
Fire drills should be held at least once, and preferably, twice, each year. Following the fire drills the fire safety manager should hold a short debriefing session with the fire wardens in order to learn of any problems or difficulties that were encountered. The problems and any remedial action taken to reduce their occurrence in the future should be recorded. Fire drills are important exercises and provide an opportunity for plans and procedures to be developed and modified if necessary.

In some premises where there is a risk of terrorist action directed towards the premises or to others in the vicinity, it is also valuable to carry out a bomb drill occasionally, with the purpose of reminding staff of the actions that they should take. Again, a record of the exercise should be kept and procedures modified if necessary.

Particular consideration should be given to the actions taken in respect of a device thought to be in the street outside as well as those to be taken if a bomb were to be placed inside the building.