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HOW MANY FIRE MARSHALS DO YOU NEED?

This depends upon the findings from your fire risk assessment. In fulfilling the main duty of the Fire Marshal, he or she will need to safely assist in an evacuation. This means not putting himself at extra risk. Fire Marshals should be “resident” in the area under their control. The general rules in deciding on numbers are;

Must reach a “place of safety” within 2 ½ minutes

The Fire Marshal must be able to perform his duties (i.e. search his area) and then reach a place of safety within 2 ½ minutes of hearing an alarm / discovering a fire

Minimum of one (ideally 2) per floor / department;

If the floor in question is large or complex then responsibility should be split with one or more extra Fire Marshal.

Extra for extra buildings;

If your site has several buildings or has areas of external occupancy separate to the main unit, then extra Fire Marshals will be required.

Consider the number of occupants

If the Fire Warden has to deal with a densely occupied area then extra Fire Marshals will be required to make the responsibility reasonable and safe

Consider the type of occupants

If the building has the following categories of occupants, this should be borne in mind in deciding on the number of Fire Marshals;

  • Members of the public
  • The elderly
  • Disabled people
  • Sleeping occupants

Consider the fire risk

A building with high fire risks and/or poor fire precautions will need a proportionately higher number of Fire Marshals. Good fire risk management is required in these cases

Assembly points to be manned

A Fire Marshal should man your Assembly Points and if you have multiple Assembly Points, extra fire Marshals will be needed

High number of members of the public?

This can include places of worship, sports venues and transport hubs. Extra Fire Marshals will be needed.

Consider time away from work

Once you have decided on a reasonable number of Fire Marshals, this number should be doubled to cater for the Warden being out of the building. This will include holidays, sickness and meetings etc.

Other factors that will create the need for extra fire Marshals include;

  • Stay in place and delayed evacuation strategies
  • Designated “high risk” workplaces
  • Historical buildings
  • High rise and sub-surface locations
  • Premises with high security areas
  • Premises with history of fires accidental or deliberate in cause

For detailed guidance on working out appropriate numbers please contact us

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