Why should we have a Fire Marshal?

A fire marshals’ duty is to contribute to the fire safety procedures that are happening in the building at all times. They play a key role in keeping the premises safe for employees and visitors. A Fire Marshal has two main priorities which are safe emergency evacuation and to prevent fires from occurring.

Is a Fire Marshal a Legal Requirement?

Having your members of staff as Fire Marshal’s will help you conform to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. If a fire did break out the responsible person for the building would have been expected to have appointed one or more people who have the competent skills and organisation to assist with the fire safety duties.

You are expected to have trained members of staff who can help with the fire fighting and fire prevention procedures. A Fire Marshal should also be trained to evacuate and provide fire safety assistance in the case of an emergency.  Appointing a Fire Marshal will help the responsible person comply to the Law.

A Fire Marshal should always be on the look for hazards around the building as part of their duties, if any hazards are spotted, they need to be either dealt with or reported to the right people. Being a Fire Marshal for a business or building comes with responsibility meaning it can be quite demanding. As the responsible person you need to make their job as easy as possible by fixing any problems reported, giving them thorough training and refreshed regularly.

How Many Fire Marshals Do I Need?

Have as many Fire Marshal’s as you see fit for the risk, the size of the site, how many floors are in the building, how many people will be in one area at one time, accessibility and who is using the area. For example, if you run a community centre and there is an OAP Coffee Morning on Thursdays, the building is 3 floors high and the meeting is taking place on the 3rd floor you would need to have a Fire Marshal present in the building who is maybe trained with an Evac chair.  

If you’re unsure about the risk at hand then you should have a fire risk assessment. This will help you find all risks in the building and how best to deal with them.

A Fire Marshal should be Level headed and able to act calmly in a sudden emergency, they would need to know the building well as they would need to instruct people to leave via the closest escape route. One of their main jobs could be collating information to then call the emergency services and also do a sweep of the building to check everyone is accounted for, if it is safe to do so.