Fire Safety & Awarness

How Many Fire Wardens Should There Be in Your Workplace

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

Every business needs adequately trained personnel to ensure no stray spark starts a fire and safely evacuate everyone from the building in case of a fire. These accountable individuals are referred to as fire wardens or fire marshals. 

“There were 311 fire-related fatalities in Great Britain during 20120/21, 22 more than occurred in the previous reporting year when there were 289.”- says Statista.

In dangerous circumstances, fire wardens have a lot of responsibilities. Corralling people, leading them to predetermined meeting places, counting heads, and supporting first responders and emergency service professionals are all crucial tasks.

With the chief warden and building manager, your duty may also entail emergency management planning and equipment maintenance and you should always be prepared for action.

But how would you know how many fire wardens you would need in your workplace?

Well, you will learn much more in the blog about “How many fire wardens should there be in your workplace?” as the topic is discussed extensively. 

What is a fire warden?

A fire warden is chosen by the person in charge of workplace activities or managers. They are selected to aid in implementing the necessary fire safety measures as decided upon by the manager to stop a fire from compromising the health and safety of residents and other pertinent people for whom a duty of care is held. Fire Wardens are trained to respond to a fire emergency and are crucial in maintaining the workplace’s continuity. 

What are the roles and responsibilities of fire wardens?

Fire wardens are essential members of any organisation who have received the proper training to take the necessary actions to put out fires. They also play a critical role by attempting to limit damage and aiding others in a safe escape. The responsible party puts safety precautions in place, including fire alarms and firefighting tools. The fire warden is responsible for ensuring everything is set up. 

The roles of a fire warden are- 

  1. To aid the workplace manager in putting into place and enhancing efficient emergency procedures.
  2. To inform other employees about the potential fire hazards present at work
  3. To check that all fire safety measures are implemented. These consist of fire extinguishers, emergency exits, and fire alarms
  4. Ensure assistance for vulnerable people and those who are more at-risk
  5. To keep all safety systems up to date and in working order
  6. Be able to direct the fire drills and actual evacuation processes 
  7. Maintain correspondence with emergency services

How many fire wardens should there be in your workplace

Is it a legal requirement to have a fire warden?

Yes, having a designated fire warden is a legal necessity for every business. “The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO) came into force in October 2006 and applies within England and Wales.  It describes the fire safety duties of employers and others in control of non-domestic premises.”– says Howlett Health Safety Services. Corporations have strict obligations regarding workplace fire safety because of fire safety regulations. In addition, fire wardens are trained to help people at the workplace during any fire emergency. They are assigned to minimise the risk and save people from fire. 

What’s the required number of fire wardens in an office workplace?

As mentioned before, businesses have a legal obligation to have fire wardens at the workplace. But the number of fire wardens required at a workplace varies depending on different factors. For example, for a low-risk property, one fire warden is needed for 50 people, but for medium and high-risk properties, one is required for 15-20 people.

For a large office of 200 occupants, you will need 6 fire wardens and a chief; for a small shopping centre of 300 occupants, you will need 6 fire wardens and a chief. 

What factors will influence fire warden numbers?

As long as you are fully aware of all the risk factors and how your organisation generally runs, estimating the number of fire wardens required to cover the entire business is simple. 

The number of buildings and floors

Every building needs a minimum of one fire warden per floor. It’s ideal to have two or more so that vacations and illnesses are covered. 

Number of occupants

To lead everyone out safely and search the specified area for anyone who got lost, you need enough fire wardens. In addition, you will need more fire wardens to protect individuals in case of higher workplace risk. In low-risk buildings, one fire warden is enough for 50 people.

But in medium and high-risk facilities, at least one fire warden is required for every 15-20 people. Most firms fall within the category of medium risk.

How many fire wardens should there be in your workplace

The types of occupants

The elderly, children, pregnant women, individuals with impairments, and public members are most at risk. Where there are high-risk inhabitants, more fire wardens are required.

The number of shifts

More fire wardens are required for more shifts, so it is vital to set up transitions, so there are always enough fire wardens on duty. In addition, the rota and records of sick leave should be available to fire wardens if they are in charge of conducting a roll call at assembly points, so they know who is present at all times.

Holiday and sickness cover

The holidays should be distinct for authorised fire wardens. Additionally, more than one fire warden must be assigned to each area. This implies that the other will still be there even if one misses work due to illness.

The type of workplace

This first and primarily aids in determining the degree of risk. It would help if you thought about:

  • The quantity of combustibles and flammables present: A chemical storage facility would present a greater risk than an office.
  • Sources of ignition: Higher-risk workplaces include restaurants and workshops that use electricity, bare flames, and other sources of fire either inside the building itself or as part of work-related activities.
  • The fabric of the building: Brick and stone structures are more durable than some materials used in modern construction.
  • The nature of people’s work: Working with vehicles or equipment that needs to be turned off is one task that could delay individuals leaving the premises. Additionally, activities like cooking or welding that require working with sources of ignition or fuel have more danger.

The size and complexity of the layout of the building: Large spaces and intricate designs require more personnel to cover because they take longer to scout and evacuate. Simple patterns may facilitate the spread of smoke and fire, whereas complex layouts might result in people becoming trapped.

How many fire wardens should there be in your workplace

How Do I Use These Factors to Calculate?

For example, an employer estimates the number of fire wardens needed for their three-story clothes store. The first and second floors both have clothing stores, with the ground floor having a clothing store.

They first establish that the danger is moderate:

  • There are many flammable items on the first two levels, such as flat-packed boxes and apparel, but the packs are carefully kept and disposed of immediately.
  • There are extremely few ignition sources (a small kitchen on the 2nd floor and kitchenettes in the staff rooms on each floor).
  • The primary shopping areas and the café are in huge, open spaces, but despite each floor’s size, each site’s layout is straightforward and user-friendly. In addition, there are numerous restrooms, staff restrooms, and changing rooms.
  • Low-risk tasks performed by staff include stocking shelves, handling trash, cleaning, and making and serving straightforward meals and beverages in the café.
  • The building is relatively resilient because it is made of bricks.

The importance of having a Fire Warden

Fire Wardens are a crucial risk-control strategy to guarantee that the workplace is ready for an emergency. Fire wardens are a critical risk-control key to ensure that your business is prepared should an emergency, including a fire, develop.

Simply put, the office fire warden is the company’s point of contact for first responders and is in charge of carrying out the fire safety plan. They also make sure that everyone is informed of the emergency protocols.

Finally, a fire warden will ensure that an office is evacuated and that the authorities are contacted during a fire emergency.

Conclusion

Although many fires are entirely preventable, they occur far too frequently. Your defence against fire and the disaster that it can cause involves- having a fire risk assessment, effective fire evacuation procedures, and well-trained fire wardens. You should have a fire warden at your office.

Fire dangers are a constant and real possibility that you should be aware of and prepare for. Additionally, even while a monitoring system for your fire alarms can help to keep your company safe, you still need to designate an office fire warden to lead the evacuation


Post Author

Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.


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