Fire Wardens and Marshals: What They Do

You may be familiar with fire wardens and fire marshals as they play important roles when a fire breaks out. However, as different as these terms may seem, both positions are actually serving similar duties, precisely because they do not work for the fire brigade in the UK but are ordinary civilians themselves.

Learn more about fire marshals and fire wardens in this article, especially their roles in providing fire safety.

Fire Wardens and Marshals: What They Do

Fire marshals and fire wardens both play a crucial role in carrying out fire safety duties, and they also have an acceptable level of knowledge, skills, and training needed for firefighting. Organisations have the option to hire fire marshals, fire wardens, or a combination of the two. Organisations with two different sets of people for each position often have varying designated functions.

There is actually no hard-and-fast rule for their roles and responsibilities. And because of this, the descriptions can vary from one business to another. In fact, the differences are not outlined in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO), where one can read the fire safety duties of organisations in England and Wales. But it is important to note that the RRFSO requires organisations to nominate staff who are responsible enough to be trusted in assisting fire safety duties.

However, for cases wherein organisations both have these positions in place, the following are their different responsibilities:


Combining the Roles of Fire Wardens and Fire Marshals

In cases wherein an organisation only hires either of the two positions, both will perform their respective functions. This means that they will be responsible for the day-to-day fire management. They will also be the ones who will assist with firefighting and fire detection, evacuation, and providing fire safety assistance.

Such a case applies to smaller organisations. But of course, both are overseen by someone responsible for the overall fire safety in the workplace. In some instances, they are called deputy who will act on behalf of the fire safety manager who will oversee and take action during the fire.

It is important to note that in cases like this, it doesn’t really matter if the title is “fire marshal” or “fire warden.” What’s important is that during emergency situations, the ones responsible will be ready to take action.


What Fire Wardens Do

For this role, they deal with the day-to-day fire management. This means that they are always on the lookout for any possible areas within the workplace that might catch a fire. Their responsibilities include fire hazard identification, risk assessment, reporting, and monitoring fire safety in the workplace. They also have a hand at laying out fire emergency and evacuation plans.

Fire wardens are tasked to ensure on a day-to-day basis that fire doors and fire exits are working in the sense that they will be ready for use once a fire breaks out. They check all escape routes and see to it that they are unblocked at all times. Another crucial part of their roles includes checking all fire extinguishers and fire alarms are in strategic locations.

They basically have the responsibility of ensuring that the premises are a safe environment to dwell and work in and are ready in case of fire.

Upon evacuation, they are responsible for ensuring that everyone has evacuated the premises, and because of this, they are the last ones to leave the building.


What Fire Marshals Do

In case of fire, fire marshals play a more proactive role in providing fire safety. They ring the alarm and ensure evacuation, firefighting protocols, and roll calls are all in place when a fire breaks out in the workplace.

Upon evacuation, they are the ones who will designate areas where people will assemble. They will also be the ones to count the number of people gathered at the fire assembly point. In addition to that, they also ensure the safety of the fire wardens, who are responsible for ensuring that everyone has been successfully evacuated.



Fire Wardens and Fire Marshals are essentially interchangeable terms; however, it all depends on the organisation and how they define each of their duties and responsibilities.

Regardless of their differences or similarities, what's important is to provide them with proper training as they will handle fire breakouts. In addition, they must be properly trained and have the knowledge of the UK Fire Law Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Should you need first responders to your premises in the event of a break-in, fire, and other serious emergencies, know that you can call Chamberlains, especially if there is already a confirmed incident. We also offer a wide range of services within the security sector.

If you require more information regarding our services, make sure to call us on 0121 540 0121 today. Here at Chamberlains, we are more than ready to cater to your needs at any time of the day or night as we are open 24/7 to serve clients throughout Birmingham and the West Midlands.