Is your business fully prepared for a fire emergency?
If yes, we are sure you might have deployed Fire Warden(s) to ensure maximum fire safety for your place.
A Fire Warden is a person who is given the responsibility of implementing the necessary fire safety arrangements to prevent a fire, ensuring the continuity of the workplace, and preparing for a fire emergency. As no fire emergency plan is complete without fire wardens, it becomes important to understand their roles and responsibilities.
For different places, the roles of fire wardens might vary a bit. However, the general responsibilities of them remain more or less the same. These responsibilities are categorized into before and after the fire breaks out. Let’s understand this in detail.
General Roles of a Fire Warden
1) Better safe than sorry fits apt when it comes to fire safety measures. A fire warden helps to prevent fire accidents by monitoring the fire risk control measures. It is done by:
- Checking if the fire alarms are in proper working condition or if they need any replacement. It is done at least once a week.
- Examining the emergency exits to avoid any obstructions. Also, they have to review if the fire doors are in working order and are kept closed.
- Ensuring that fire extinguishers are visible and serviced periodically.
- Checking the PAT testing for all electrical equipment.
- Assessing the proper functioning of emergency lighting. It should be checked at least once a month.
2) Fire Evacuation Drills are an essential exercise to evaluate the effectiveness of fire emergency arrangements. Fire Wardens play a significant role in Fire Drills. They:
- Carry out regular fire drills. It helps in revising the fire safety training and analyzing if all employees know what to do in an emergency fire situation.
- Make everyone familiar with the proper evacuation procedures and escape routes and exits from their designated area.
3) Indulging all people in fire safety is an essential step to ensure maximum protection from fire hazards. Fire Wardens interact with the occupants and:
- Raising awareness among them about different fire hazards in the workplace, types of fire and fire extinguishers, and how to use an extinguisher.
- Instructing workers how to respond in an emergency and assigning different roles to different people.
- Ensuring all workers undertake their responsibility and are held accountable during an evacuation.
- Ensuring everyone undergoes fire safety training. It can be refreshed every year.
- Preparing all people for emergencies and assisting people with special needs, like helping someone in a wheelchair to evacuate.
4) Other responsibilities include:
- They are required to maintain records of all the fire safety activities, any hazards, past fire accidents, etc.
- Ensuring all the fire safety signs are visible and securely fastened to the wall.
- Making sure all the inflammable sources of fire are kept at a safe place and keeping a check on general housekeeping practices.
Responsibilities of a Fire Warden when Fire breaks out
Fire alarms can cause a lot of panic among the people of the building. It is where the fire wardens come to rescue. With the goal of the safe evacuation of everyone, including themselves, the following are the activities a fire warden does:
- Raise the alarm and disseminate the information about a fire hazard.
- Guide everyone about all the appropriate exits so that they can evacuate the building quickly. Also, inform them about not using lifts.
- Allowing vulnerable people to exit first and following a proper Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan.
- Close all fire doors and windows to block the fire from spreading.
- Use fire-fighting equipment, such as extinguishers, if an appropriate type of extinguisher is available and if the fire is small.
- Ensure everyone assembles at a common assembly area and take a roll-call to check everyone has left the building. It should be done on the way out of the building so that the fire warden isn’t putting themselves at risk by re-entering the evacuated area.
- Inform the Emergency Services after arriving at the safe place. Give them relevant details relating to the fire incident and follow any instructions provided.
Fire Wardens, hence are an important cog in the wheel of fire safety. However, to make sure your Fire Warden is ready to combat all kinds of fire threats, they should undertake periodic Fire Warden Training.