This must be one of the most common questions fire safety instructors are asked!
Unfortunately the number of fire marshals needed will vary from building to building, the type of evacuation method employed and may also vary at different times of the day. Other factors to determine the number will include:
· The type of activities carried out in the premises
· The numbers of employees or visitors to the building
· The layout of the building and its fire safety measures
· The type occupancy using the building and level of risk associated with that type of premises
However the following tips can be used to obtain a general estimate of the numbers needed:
· When using sweep, baton system, starburst or physical check methods one fire marshal per sixty seconds of search area.
· Try to have at least one deputy for each fire marshal – Remember fire marshals go on holidays, call in sick, attend training courses, go out at lunch and nip to the toilet occasionally!!
If all fire marshals start sweeping a building at the same time this means that all staff and visitors should be outside the building or in a safety staircase or fire exit route within sixty seconds of the alarm being sounded.
For roll call systems consider the following points:
· How long does it usually take for the fire service to arrive at your building when an alarm sounds?
· How long does it take for all staff and visitors to evacuate from your building?
· What is the difference in time between these two answers?
· Calculate the number of roll call officers required to call out roll call names before the fire brigade arrive
Do you have different fire procedures for normal working hours and outside normal working hours? Some organisations work 24 hour operations but often with different numbers of staff. These situations will often need different types of evacuation procedure and different numbers of fire marshals to operate them!
Remember – A successful fire evacuation procedure will only work if all staff practice fire drills and carry out regular staff fire training.
For details on how to train all of your staff cheaply and efficiently contact City Fire Training.
For more details of fire marshal courses London go to the City Fire Training website now.