Is it a legal requirement to have fire warden training?

is it a legal requirement to have fire warden training

Is your business fulfilling its legal requirements when it comes to fire safety in the workplace?

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that you have taken precautions to keep your employees and people visiting your business safe.

Fire safety is an important part of your business’s health and safety policy and plans and should be overseen and managed by trained fire wardens.

Fire wardens are key to your business’s fire safety policy and plans. Some key fire safety duties that fire wardens may be responsible for include:

  • Carrying out fire drills and reviewing the results.
  • Creating and maintaining a fire evacuation plan.
  • Carrying out a fire risk assessment.
  • Training employees in fire safety.
  • Regularly inspecting fire safety equipment to ensure it is in full working order.
  • Evacuating the building and performing evacuation procedures in the event of a fire.

In this article, we will find out a little more about businesses’ legal requirements regarding fire safety and fire wardens.

Is having a fire warden on-site at a business a legal requirement?

Having a fire warden on-site at your business is not only sensible, it is also a legal requirement.

Different parts of the UK have different fire safety legislation.

You should consult the fire safety legislation relevant to where in the UK your business is located to find out your legal requirements. However, all fire regulations in the UK are broadly similar when it comes to appointing fire wardens for your business.

Fire safety legislation makes it clear to businesses what their responsibilities are regarding fire safety in the workplace.

Appointing an appropriate number of fire wardens to implement fire safety measures is a key part of all fire safety legislation in the UK.

The legislation also states that it is the business owner’s responsibility to ensure that all appointed fire wardens have received adequate training to ensure their competence in the role.

How many fire wardens should a commercial property have?

Ok, so now we know that having fire wardens is a legal requirement, but do you know how many your business is required to have?

According to legislation, it is the business owner’s responsibility to ‘nominate competent persons to implement those measures and ensure that the number of such persons, their training and the equipment available to them is adequate, taking into account the size of, and the specific hazards involved in, the premises concerned.’

So, this means that different businesses are required to have different numbers of fire wardens.

To find out how many fire wardens your business is legally required to have, we must look at several factors, these include:

  • The size of your commercial property.
  • Your business’ risk level.
  • The type of workplace.
  • Your property’s layout.
  • The number of employees you have.
  • The number of floors your commercial property has.
  • Shift patterns.

Fire risk assessment

To figure out exactly how many fire wardens your commercial property is legally required to have, you should carry out a fire risk assessment and identify your commercial property’s fire risk level.

According to information about workplace fire safety found on the government website, during a fire safety risk assessment you should:

  • Identify the fire hazards.
  • Identify people at risk.
  • Evaluate, remove, or reduce the risks.
  • Record your findings, prepare an emergency plan, and provide training.
  • Review and update the fire risk assessment regulations regularly.

Fire risk level

Next, you can use the information from your fire risk assessment to help ascertain your commercial property’s fire risk level.

Low-risk businesses are those where there are few combustibles or highly flammable materials and virtually no sources of heat that could cause a fire. This could include some small shops and offices.

Medium risk businesses contain average quantities of combustible or highly flammable materials and use some heat sources that could ignite a fire. Examples of medium risk businesses are larger shops and offices, and some warehouses and factories.

High-risk businesses are those that use large quantities of combustible or highly flammable materials and sources of heat that could easily ignite a fire. They may also have a large number of high-risk individuals or an unconventional layout or construction that could help a fire to spread more rapidly.

Once you have carried out a risk assessment and identified your business’ risk level, you will be able to work out how many fire wardens your business requires.

A high-risk business with many employees will require more fire wardens than a low-risk business with just a handful of employees. If your staff work shifts, then you will also need to ensure that there are an appropriate number of fire wardens on-site during each shift.

Generally, you will find that low-risk commercial properties require one fire warden for every 50 staff, medium risk properties require one warden for every 20 staff, and high-risk properties require one warden for every 15 people.

How often should fire warden training be carried out?

Fire warden training should be carried out, at minimum, every three years.

Luckily, fires in the workplace are not a regular occurrence, so if your fire wardens have not put their skills and training to use in a few years, then they risk forgetting things.

Regular training helps to refresh the fire wardens’ knowledge and skills and also keep them up to date with any changes to legislation or regulations.

Fire Warden training with CBAT

Here at Care Business Associate Training, we offer a short, affordable, and comprehensive one-day fire warden training course.

Our course equips individuals with the skills and knowledge they require to help to prevent fires in the workplace and act confidently and competently to safely evacuate the building in the event of one.

We can also tailor our fire warden training to your business’s specific needs if required.

For further advice on fire warden training or help booking your place on one of our courses, give our team a call on 01772 816 922, or email admin@cba-training.co.uk.