How long is fire warden training valid for?

It is a legal requirement, as stated by the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 (FSO), in articles 13, 15 and 18, for the responsible person (the person who has responsibility for fire safety) to appoint one or more competent persons to assist them in undertaking preventative and protective measures. They should provide appropriate procedures including safety drills to be followed in the event of serious and imminent danger and nominate a sufficient number of competent persons to implement those procedures insofar as they relate to the evacuation of people from premises.

General fire marshal or fire warden training course certificates expire every three years. However, this will depend on the nature of the premises, the hazards and risk present and the requirements of the fire risk assessment.

For high hazard risk buildings, additional fire marshal and fire extinguisher training courses should be repeated every year. For residential care and hospital premises, the frequency of fire marshal training may be required every year.

In addition to the fire marshal training, designated fire wardens, fire marshals and deputies must support the company’s fire evacuation procedures, which are a form of fire safety training themselves.

Individuals who volunteer for the fire warden, fire marshal or deputy roles must be aged 16 years or older before they can attend a formal or accredited fire marshal course.

The training course should cover:

  • Fire legislation
  • The cost of fires to businesses and individuals
  • Causes of fires in the workplace
  • Understanding the fire triangle and the behaviours of fire
  • Understanding the classification of fires
  • An understanding of fire safety awareness
  • Understanding the different types of fire extinguishers and what classification of fire they can be used on
  • Fire precautions and protection control measures to help prevent fires
  • Fire safety and fire safety signage
  • Understanding the fire marshal’s role and responsibilities
  • Understanding people’s behaviour in a fire situation and how they can assist
  • The different types of evacuation equipment available and how these can be used (note: training on specific equipment used in a particular company to be completed separately)
  • A practical training session on how to use a fire extinguisher.

On successful completion of the course, a small multiple choice course exam for attendees should be completed, and a fire marshal or fire marshal in the workplace certificate issued.

Fire marshal or fire warden duties include:

  • Monitoring fire safety by frequent visual checks of fire escape routes, fire exit and final fire exit doorsets for obstructions, defects, signage and operational conditions
  • Monitoring their areas, with frequent visual checks on fire equipment
  • Ensuring those in their area can hear the fire alarms
  • Assisting the responsible person with the fire risk assessment
  • Assisting the responsible person with the emergency plan
  • Giving fire briefings to occupants to ensure everyone understands what to do in the event of a fire, fire safety action instruction, and familiarisation with fire escape routes and assembly points through fire drills.
  • Assisting management, HR or occupational professionals with personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs)
  • Reporting faults and unsafe practices
  • Controlling the evacuation of their area
  • Supporting fire evacuation drills.

The Fire Protection Association delivers 2 comprehensive fire warden training courses (also known as a fire marshal training course). You can find out more about our fire warden training courses here.

Please be aware that considerable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this article at the time of publication, however any legislative (or other) changes that come into effect after this may render the information out of date until it is reviewed and updated as part of the FPA’s content review cycle.