The main duties of the fire marshal depend on your fire risk assessment but generally include;
- identify fire hazards at their workplace
- Note and report hazards to the appropriate person
- take the correct action in the event of a fire
- ensure that escape routes are kept clear and can be used effectively at all times
If a fire is discovered, the fire marshal is expected to:
- Check that the alarm has been raised by somebody
- check that machinery has been made safe
- evacuate people from the area involved or designated zone
- ensure that anyone with disabilities are assisted in line with their PEEP
- call the reporting company and give details of the location of the alarmand the cause of the fire, if possible
- fight the fire with appropriate extinguishers if is safe to do so and company policy allows
When the alarm is heard, fire marshals should ensure that everyone leaves the building as quickly and as orderly as feasible, ensuring that security measures, such as closing fire-resistant safes, are carried out in accordance with company policy (but not to delay the evacuation procedure) Electrical equipment should be closed down and windows closed if possible.
Fire Marshals should search toilets and storerooms in their zone/s in a methodical way to ensure no one remains.
The Marshal should then go to the relevant assembly point and become involved in the roll call procedure. If specified, the Fire Marshal may be appointed to ensure no one re-enters the building until the Fire Brigade say it is safe.
Fire Marshals play an important role in reporting any changes to ignitions sources and combustibles. This fire prevention role supports the fire risk assessment process. The fire safety manager should liaise with fire marshals and any changes to policy or procedure must be shared quickly.
Fire and Bomb Drills
On some sites where there is a risk of terrorist action aimed at the company or others in the area, it is also useful to carry out a bomb drill occasionally, with the aim of reminding staff of the actions that should be taken. Records of this exercise should be kept and procedures modified as required.
It is important to consider the possibility of a device outside in the street and to have assembly points further away than for fires.
To find out more about the fire marshal courses provided by UK Fire Training please see our courses page or contact us on 0800 216764 for more information and to book your place.