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What are the Legal Requirements and Responsibilities of a Fire Marshal?

Businesses must have a designated person who appropriately handles a fire emergency. This person is usually a certified fire marshal responsible for ensuring the safety of the employees and guiding them out of the building safely in case of a fire. The fire marshal also plays a critical role in reducing the risk of fire incidents in the workplace. The responsibilities of a fire marshal are diverse and extensive. Fortunately, we have compiled a blog post outlining a fire marshal’s legal requirements and duties, which you can read below.

What is a Fire Marshal? 

A Fire Marshal, also known as a Fire Warden, is crucial for ensuring fire safety within a building or premises. Their primary responsibility is to minimize the risk of fires and ensure the safety of occupants. The exact duties of a Fire Marshal may vary depending on the organization and industry they work in. However, those who have completed a Fire Marshal training course are equipped to promote fire safety, protect lives, and assist with emergency preparedness and response. It is worth noting that the role of a Fire Marshal can be demanding, as they may be required to evacuate the workforce, operate fire safety equipment, and conduct regular fire risk assessments.

Roles And Responsibilities of A Fire Marshal 

Fire safety regulations require fire marshals to perform routine responsibilities and regular premises checks. The aim is to minimize the risk and impact of fire. The role of a fire marshal can differ depending on the workplace, so each organization must evaluate their requirements and provide appropriate training to its fire marshals. When an emergency occurs, fire marshals are often involved in their regular work activities. They could be working at a desk, serving customers in a restaurant, or moving heavy objects in a warehouse. They must be able to respond quickly and effectively to the incident, following their fire marshal training and fire safety regulations.

Fire Safety Procedures in The Workplace 

The duties of fire marshals can vary from one workplace to another and can be divided among a team of fire marshals. However, some common responsibilities that every fire marshal should perform include:

Fire Doors and Escape Routes 

Fire marshal should ensure that the fire doors are closed (and not locked) at all times and the surrounding areas are cleared of clutter. They should also ensure that all fire exit doors can be easily opened without the need for a key and are not blocked on the outside. Further, fire marshals must ensure that external security shutters or gates are not obstructing any means of escape and that all escape routes are free from any hindrance. Also, fire marshals are responsible for ensuring that fire/smoke doors are not wedged open, which can pose a significant risk in an emergency.


Make sure that fire exit signs are visible, well-lit, and in good condition. Check that the correct signs are placed near fire extinguishers and other firefighting equipment. Display accurate floor plans and action notices in appropriate areas. Some chemicals and oxygen/gas cylinders, such as flammability, may need safety labels to indicate their risk.


Make sure that firefighting equipment is stored correctly and is easily accessible. Check that fire extinguishers are up-to-date, sealed with the locking pin in place, and the pressure gauge is within the green area. Fire extinguishers should be on brackets or special stands and not removed to another location. Check that fire blankets are also up-to-date and stored correctly. Regularly maintain and check all fire systems and equipment, such as alarms, extinguishers, electrical circuits, hose reels, etc. Ensure that smoke detectors and sprinkler systems are not blocked. Make sure that emergency lighting is maintained and checked.


To maintain fire safety, it’s important to regularly check the outside of the building for any combustible materials that are located close to the building, as such materials can be used for arson. Also, ensure that combustible materials are not stored in large quantities or locations that could ignite them. This is especially important when it comes to waste wheelie bins.


It’s also crucial to carry out regular fire risk assessments and report any discrepancies relating to fire safety to management. Keep fire safety records, including maintenance logs, to track when alarms have been tested, fire drills have been conducted, and any maintenance or training has occurred.

New Hazards

Ensure everyone is aware of new workplace fire hazards, such as contractors working within the building or nearby areas. Being proactive and vigilant about fire safety measures can help prevent potentially dangerous situations.

Fire Prevention

Fire marshals have an important job beyond just ensuring people’s safety during a fire. Their primary responsibility is to prevent fires from happening in the first place. They identify fire hazards in the workplace and report them to the relevant person. To do this, they regularly check fire doors, alarms, emergency lighting, and other fire safety equipment. They also check exit routes, emergency exits, break glass call points, fire safety signs, and storage areas. Fire marshals are also responsible for legal aspects of fire safety, such as training new employees, conducting fire drills, testing electrical devices, and maintaining fire safety logbooks and paperwork. They can also assist employers (responsible persons) in adhering to fire safety risk assessments.

When A Fire Occurs

Fire marshals have two main responsibilities: preventing fires and managing them if they happen. In the event of a fire, the fire marshal must ensure that everyone gets out of the building safely and only re-enters once it is safe to do so. This is sometimes called the role of a fire warden, as it involves taking care of people’s safety during a fire. The fire marshal must also contact the fire service, direct people to emergency exits, and check on vulnerable employees to make sure they are safe. They also need to close fire doors and check each building floor to ensure that no one is left behind. In addition, fire marshals must be able to use fire extinguishers to deal with smaller fires and take a roll call to ensure that everyone has safely escaped the building.

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