How many fire wardens does my business need?


Published: January 12, 2022

ISE Fire van.

To ensure the best chance of your business being protected from fire risks, you need designated responsible persons known as fire wardens. These people hold an important job within the business, and, amongst other tasks, are responsible for making sure everyone on the business premises are evacuated safely in the event of a fire. 

But how many fire wardens do you need on your business premises to ensure everyone is safe?

When it comes to the basic number of fire wardens, there are a few factors to consider. Two of which pertain to your business premises size and nature. A thorough risk assessment will dictate exactly what your fire warden requirements are. 

During your business's risk assessment, your fire risk will be calculated. A detailed fire risk assessment assesses the number and best location for your fire extinguishers. 

When calculating fire risk, two factors are identified:

  • How likely it is that a fire will occur
  • How much damage would be caused during a potential fire 
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Fire exit downstair.

Other high fire risk environments are those where it would be difficult for the occupants to escape, either because of the nature of the occupants, such as in hospitals, care homes, childcare nurseries and schools; or because of the convoluted layout of the building, such as in some HMOs (‘homes of multiple occupation’).

The role of fire wardens 

Staff in the role of a fire warden undertake comprehensive training, which may include:

    • Helping those on the premises to leave;
    • Checking the premises to ensure everyone has left;
    • Using firefighting equipment if safe to do so;
    • Liaising with the fire and rescue service on arrival;
    • Shutting down vital or dangerous equipment; and
    • Performing a supervisory/managing role in any fire situation. Training for this role may include:
    • Detailed knowledge of the fire safety strategy of the premises;
    • Awareness of human behaviour in fires;
    • How to encourage others to use the most appropriate escape route;
    • How to search safely and recognise areas that are unsafe to enter;
    • The difficulties that some people, particularly if disabled, may have in escaping and any special evacuation arrangements that have been pre-planned;
    • An understanding of the purpose of any fixed firefighting equipment such as sprinklers; and
    • Reporting of faults, incidents and near misses.
    • Additional training in the use of firefighting equipment;
ISE fire engineer doing fire extinguisher servicing.

Fire Risk Assessment Level Estimator 

During a risk assessment, a simple risk level estimator is based on a general Health and Safety risk level estimator contained in BS 8800. 

Fire hazard ratings standardise from lowmedium and high risk. Potential consequences of fire are rated from slight to moderate to extreme harm. 

In this context, a definition of the above terms is as follows:

SLIGHT HARM Outbreak of fire unlikely to result in serious injury or death of any occupant (other than an occupant sleeping in a bedroom in which a fire occurs).

MODERATE HARM Outbreak of fire could result in injury of one or more occupants, but it is unlikely to involve multiple fatalities.

EXTREME HARM Significant potential for serious injury or death of death of one or more occupants.

The number of fire wardens you need can be affected by:

  • Number of employees
  • Shifts
  • Opening hours
  • Business operations type
  • Size 
  • Layout
  • Number of floors
  • Number of exits
  • Fire doors
  • Construction
  • Compartmentations
  • Fire risks
  • Fire procedures
  • Fire alarm and level
Fire warden vest.

Our highly qualified and experienced fire extinguisher and risk assessment engineer team ensure fire and safety with fire protection services with addressable fire alarm systems, fire extinguisher servicing and fire safety equipment for your office premises. In addition, we offer competitively priced fire warden and fire safety training for your workplace.

Call us on 01933 677125/01908 698880

Or fill in this quick online form to discuss your business fire safety requirements today.

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