How Many Fire Marshals Should Be Appointed in a Workplace?

Published on: 25th January 2023

Fire safety is crucial and fire marshals should always be considered

Fire safety measures are important for every type of workplace, especially offices operating from a building where the evacuation procedure can be a little tricky. As for how many fire wardens need to be appointed, we will answer that question for you in this article today as we explore what a fire marshal is, how they carry out a proper fire risk assessment and what fire drills they teach you to confirm under protection under high fire risk.

Fire can be a great servant but a bad master. The saying is true especially when you consider how fatal the burns can be. What’s even worse is the fumes that can suffocate you quickly before a successful escape. Hence, paying close attention to the infrastructure of the building and how you can plan escapes is very important.

Thankfully, that is what fire marshals do.

What is a fire warden? – Fire Safety

A fire marshal has a lot of responsibilities. The main responsibility is to ensure the safety of people by making them follow proper evacuation procedures when the time calls for it. It is his responsibility to set fire alarms and alert people of potential danger. It is also on him to ensure people when the hazard is real and when it is a drill. Fire risk assessments during a local fire are what a fire marshal does best.

Guiding people towards a place where they can assemble and then leave the premises effectively is what a fire marshal does. A fire marshal also makes sure all the equipment for example fire extinguishers are in place and of the right kind.

They carry out day-to-day checks on things like fire safety measures, fire doors, fire safety signs, and emergency lighting. This ensures everything is working in order and actually helping during a time of need. This is necessary for both a high-risk workplace and a low-risk workplace and makes for a very important part of risk assessments.

Determining Fire Risk

The first thing that needs to be done before calculating how many fire marshals are required at a place is to check the level of risk that a place has. You need to check if the place has a low fire risk or high.

There can be 3 levels of risk at any given place. These are low, medium and high.

Workplaces with low risk:

  • Few highly flammable materials present
  • Very few sources of heat could catch on fire
  • No high-risk groups like the elderly or disabled are present
  • Well-built and maintained premises
  • Safe and easy-to-access escape routes
  • Safety measures are well maintained like escape doors and fire fighting equipment

Workplaces with medium risk:

  • Some highly flammable materials like paper or cardboard present
  • Many high-risk individuals present
  • A few sources that can produce fire
  • Suitable measures present that confine or slow down the spread of fire
  • Properly maintained fire safety measures

Workplaces with high risk:

  • Significant amounts of highly flammable materials
  • Several sources that can produce heat and can ignite fire quickly
  • An interior design that can significantly slow down the process of evacuation
  • Construction that can start a fire fast
  • Several high-risk individuals at the place

Calculating the number of fire marshals needed – Fire Safety

The number of fire marshals can now be calculated since we know all the different levels of risk. Now we know that we have the correct fire extinguishers, all fire prevention is in place, and almost all the safety requirements are met. It is time to figure out the number of fire wardens needed.

For example, you have a small office with 2 floors and a total of around 40 employees. This is a workplace with medium risk. Things like paper and cardboard are present but in very few places that can ignite or produce heat. Provided the office has a big space which is open and the ground floor is pretty accessible too. With only a small number of fire wardens around 5, this place can function without any issues.

  • 2 cover the number of people in the building which is 1 per 20 people
  • One to help any high-risk member
  • 2 are extra to cover if anyone is on holiday or can’t come in due to some sickness

Just like that, as the space gets bigger and the number of people increases, more fire wardens will be required.

The specific number of fire wardens required for any place will vary depending on the configuration of the workplace. Many factors, like the ones mentioned above, play a role in deciding. More fire wardens for higher-risk places while fewer for low-risk places.

If you know exactly how many fire marshals you need, you can prevent fire easily. Once you have enough fire marshals, and every fire warden is properly trained for everything, you don’t have to worry about anything.

If you made it to the end of this blog, we believe you are more than ready to start hiring the right number as well as the quality of people required to pull this off. Once everything is under control, you can work peacefully.

Remember! Fire hazards are real and can happen in the most unsuspecting of places. Stay alert and be careful. Keep fire doors ready, have a fire extinguisher at hand, and have a responsible person manage everything to lower fire risks. There are always several factors at play when a fire is involved but with a little general guidance and improved regulatory reform, you can control many fire hazards and keep customers safe. Hiring fire wardens is the best way to do it.