How Many Fire Wardens Do We Need?
Fire wardens are trained individuals within a business who are responsible for a number of aspects of fire safety. They may be required, amongst other things, to ensure that fire exits and escape routes are kept free of obstruction, that fire extinguishers are installed and serviced regularly and flammable materials are properly stored. The number of fire wardens required in a business depends on the risk of the business and the size of the business.
The fire risk of a business is defined by the likelihood of a fire occurring and how severe a fire would be if one occurred. For example, a low risk business would have few flammable substances stored on the premises and virtually no heat sources that could start a fire. There would also be no high risk individuals such as elderly or disabled people, emergency exit routes would be easy traverse quickly and fire safety measures would be adequate and well maintained. A high risk business would be the polar opposite: lots of flammable materials stored improperly, plenty of heat sources that may start a fire and poor fire safety measures to manage these risks. A properly performed risk assessment will tell you whether or not your business is high or low risk. High risk businesses should first use their risk assessment to minimise the risks of a fire starting before considering how many fire wardens it needs.
Larger businesses with larger premises will naturally need more fire wardens to cover a larger area. Other factors that may contribute to deciding how many fire marshals you need include whether or not your staff work shifts, employee absence and how many floors your business is spread across. As a rough rule of thumb for a business with typical working hours (9am-5pm, Monday – Friday), aim for at least 1 fire marshal for less than 50 employees, at least 2 fire marshals for 50 – 100 employees, and add an additional fire marshal for every additional 100 employees. For large premises, it is recommended that you have at least one fire marshal per floor / area.
For more information on fire marshals, or to book a Free Review, call on 0844 8797286.
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