Working At Height Courses
Working at HeightIPAF/MEWP Operators
01427 678 660

Do I Need A Fire Warden At Work?

Each year the fire and rescue service attends a number of fires in commercial premises. Thankfully Fires in commercial buildings are rare. However, when a fire does occur, the results can be catastrophic. 

Are you prepared if the worst should happen?

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is a legal requirement for the responsible person (person responsible for fire safety) within an organisation to appoint one or more competent persons to assist in undertaking preventative and protective measures to minimise the risk of fire. A fire warden or fire marshal is a competent person appointed to undertake these measures. 

Hopefully, you won’t ever face a fire emergency, but being prepared is key to a good outcome if you do. Fire wardens play a vital role in this preparation. 

After Covid, a lot of businesses have a hybrid office setup. Now that you have different people working on your premises at different times, do you still always have a Fire Warden on site?

What is a fire warden?

Fire wardens are appointed members of staff who have undergone specific training and will play a key role in fire emergency situations. In a fire emergency, fire wardens must keep employers and visitors safe and ensure a safe evacuation.

The role of a fire warden

A fire warden’s role can vary and will depend on the nature and size of the premises. However, these duties may include:

  • making sure everyone evacuates the building in a safe and timely manner
  • Make sure the area is visually searched to ensure no one is left behind
  • Monitoring fire safety through frequent visual checks of fire escape routes, fire extinguishers, housekeeping, alarms, fire doors and fire exits
  • Supporting and carrying out fire evacuation drills 
  • Reporting faults and unsafe practices 
  • Controlling safe evacuation of their area 
  • Giving fire safety briefings to ensure that everyone understands the fire procedure 

When is it safe for a warden to tackle a fire?

Fire Wardens are not expected to fight fires, their main responsibility is to assist in the safe evacuation of the occupants. However, Fire Wardens should only tackle a very small fire (smaller than the size of a waste bin) if they have been trained and are competent enough to extinguish it.

You should only tackle a fire if:

  • the alarm has been raised
  • everyone has been evacuated from the area
  • fire and rescue services have been called
  • you have a safe escape route, and the fire is not between you and this route
  • you use the correct type of fire extinguishers for the fire type

You must leave the fire if:

  • the fire starts to spread
  • your escape route becomes hindered by smoke
  • the fire extinguisher has been fully discharged
  • you have extinguished the fire – and you must advise the person in charge as to any additional fire safety investigation

Do not tackle a fire if:

  • the room is filled with smoke, or the fire is spreading
  • other hazards are present
  • the fire cannot be extinguished with one fire extinguisher
  • there are not two persons present (the person tackling the fire and another fire warden or fire marshal acting as the additional eyes on the situation)

How many Fire Wardens do I need?

Your organisation should carefully consider how many fire wardens are needed. The number of fire wardens you appoint will depend on the size and complexity of the premises. Larger workplaces with multiple floors will need to appoint sever fire wardens to cover all areas. Even with smaller organisations, there’s a case to be made for having at least two wardens to allow for absences from work. The organisation will also need to consider appointing enough fire wardens to cover all shifts.

Fire Warden Training 

Fire Safety training is compulsory for all organisations as failure to comply with government fire safety regulations (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) may lead to prosecution, legal claims, loss of property and even loss of life in the event of an incident.

Our training course covers the role of a Fire Warden. It aims to provide people with a basic awareness of good fire prevention management, the different types of fire extinguishers and how to use them and give people the confidence to take the lead in an emergency to facilitate the safe and prompt evacuation of the building.

For further assistance for your business, talk to our Health and Safety Team by calling 01427 420 402 or emailing and #oneoftheteam will be happy to help.

To find out more information or discuss your training needs, talk to our Training Team by calling 01427 420 405 or email


The information and any commentary contained within these updates are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal or any other type of professional advice. Stallard Kane does not accept and, to the extent permitted by law, exclude liability to any person for any loss which may arise from relying upon or otherwise using the information contained in these blogs. If you have a particular query or issue, you are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal advice about your issue and not to rely solely on the information or comments in these updates.
Let's talk about how we can help you, call our specialist UK based support team on:
Let's Talk