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The importance of a company fire safety marshal

18-09-2012

fire marshal high visability topIt is well documented that fires are one of the most lethal killers in the workplace and can occur at the most unexpected of times, due to a variety of reasons. All businesses are legally required to have carried out a fire risk assessment of their premises and the risk of fatality can be dramatically reduced in a workplace if there is a designated fire safety marshal. These need to be fully accredited and adequately trained by a professional expert in fire safety training.

Every company, no matter what the size, needs to have a responsible person in charge of fire safety in the workplace. The employees need to be safe and secure in the unfortunate event of a fire and this is why it is important to have someone who understands the procedures. From the fire risk assessments to first aid training, a fire safety marshal should be well trained and educated on everything to do with fire protection for your business.

Some of the common activities that they need to undertake, some on a daily basis, include:

  • Removing any materials that are flammable which are situated near an area where there is the possibility of a fire (i.e. kitchen, smoking area, etc.)
  • Preventing any fire safety hazards in the area that could obstruct the fire evacuation route (this includes wires and boxes that could easily be missed and tripped upon)
  • Be the main communication between the company and the emergency services and know exactly what information they need
  • Educate other people in the building on the fire safety procedures before and during the event of a fire (including the nearest route everyone should take and where to congregate after they are in a safe environment)
  • Perform any necessary first aid training in case anybody gets injured because of a fire or in the process of evacuation (it is also recommended that more than one person is properly first aid trained)
  • Checking the batteries of all the fire alarm and smoke alarms in the building on a regular basis to ensure that they are working efficiently and without fault. They also need to be aware of where the fire extinguishers are and be prepared to notify and use the correct extinguisher based on the fire (whether it’s water, dry powder, carbon dioxide or any other type)

These activities that aim to reduce the risk of fire, along with being completely prepared for a fire, are what could save lives in the workplace. Having a calm head when the alarm starts who knows exactly where everyone should be will be a vital part of ensuring that everyone reaches the evacuation point safely and securely. Every business will need a different procedure and it is the responsibility of the fire marshal and the owners to make sure that the safest one is in place for everyone in your company.  

This post was written on behalf of City Fire Protection in London who are leading experts in fire safety services and products.

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