Should fire wardens act as evacuation buddies?


A recent caller to our London office asked about our fire warden courses in London. Our caller asked the usual questions:

  • What’s the difference between a fire warden and a fire marshal?
  • How often should fire wardens  be trained?
  • Should we carry out a roll call or sweep the building?

…and then an unusual question…

  • Should fire wardens act as evacuation buddies?

Regular readers of this blog will know the answers to the early questions and if you are a new reader go to our website Fire Training London or City Fire Training to find out the answers, but the last question we will answer here.

The Fire Safety Order requires a responsible person of a building or premises to have arrangements to evacuate persons from a building in the event of an emergency and sufficient suitably trained persons to assist with the evacuation. Government guidance notes detail arrangements for fire wardens and fire marshals and many fire training companies will offer advice on how they will assist with the fire evacuation. Further guidance (Means of escape for disabled people) talks about the need for Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans for disabled staff and appointing and training evacuation buddies. The guide mentions meeting a disabled person at the work station (ie desk evacuation) or at a prearranged point (ie a refuge). This would then strongly suggest that fire wardens should not act as evacuation buddies as both need to act quickly as soon as the fire alarm sounds.

For more details of our disabled evacuation course visit our website now

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Whats the difference between a fire marshal and a fire warden?


What is the difference between a fire marshal and a fire warden? This is a common question to our office! There is no difference – apart from the name! The Fire Safety Order 2005 places duties on a responsible person. These include:

  • make adequate provision for general fire precautions and maintain them appropriately.
  • Produce an Emergency Fire Plan
  • Nominate persons to assist with the evacuation and emergency plan and train them accordingly

In layman’s terms this means that there should a fire evacuation plan, a number of fire marshals or fire wardens and that the fire marshals and fire wardens must be adequately trained.

City Fire Training Ltd provide fire marshal courses in London and surrounding areas. You can visit CFTs websites and view the availability of fire training courses in London by clicking on these links:

City fire training – fire warden course London

Fire Training London – fire training courses in London

Houses of Parliament has no effective fire compartmentation


The Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) has few fire safety measures. A recent internal report revealed a lack of effective compartmentation throughout the building.

“The condition of the building impedes modern fire safety approaches and it has proved impossible so far to implement effective fire compartmentation,” ………

………. “Because of the fate of the old Palace of Westminster the new Palace was designed…with fire proofing in mind…On the other hand a great deal of combustible material was used for interior decoration and the building was designed with ‘a comprehensive network of pathways’ in the form of ventilation shafts and inter-floor voids, unintentionally creating ideal conditions for fire and smoke to spread through the building.”

Although a sprinkler system had been previously suggested, says the report,previous advice in 2008 concluded that it was “virtually impossible to install without first resolving the already grossly overcrowded corridors”.New solutions and remedies are now being sought to increase fire safety in the buildings.

There have been no major fires recently, but there has been at least forty small fires reported from 2008 – 2012. The report also says there has been evidence of smoke travel through architectural voids in the building.

Documents published on the Parliament titled “Parliamentary Fire Safety Arrangements” states that the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) is legally bound to comply with Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and that enforcement duties are carried out by the Crown Premises Inspection Group (CPIG). The document reports:

“CPIG last inspected the Parliamentary estate in September 2011, recognising that attention had already been paid to increasing coverage of automatic fire detection and voice alarm systems, and compartmentation, and accessibility of fire safety training, but also identifying a number of improvements that could be made in these areas. These improvements form part of the Parliamentary fire safety improvement works programme.”

The website document says that there are approx 200-300 false automatic fire alarms per annum across the whole site, which is a reduction of 54% since 2005/6.

Compartmentation can be a major issue in old and listed buildings and therefore alternative protective and preventative fire safety  measures coupled with robust fire procedures and fire training of all staff and residents. Determining such measures should be carried out by professional fire safety consultants. For details of such services such as fire risk assessments London, fire marshal training London, fire training courses London contact London Fire Risk Assessment Consultants, City Fire Training or Fire Training London now.

So what fire training course do we do?


City Fire training and Fire Training London offer a range of courses. You can book through either website or call our telephone team.

Here is an overview and a few links to course pages:

Fire marshal training London at your premises


Most of our customers elect to have on-site fire marshal training London rather than attend an on-site course. If you have more than 6 fire marshals to train this can work out as the cheapest option.

On-site fire marshal training London also has the benefit of us including your fire emergency plan, fire procedures and the significant findings of your fire risk assessment.

If you have queries about fire training courses London give City Fire Training or Fire Training London a call now

Combining fire risk assessments and fire training


Another City Fire Training client has chosen us to provide dual fire risk assessment and fire training services.

The client has moved from an old city office to a newly refurbished office in central London. We were asked to carry out a PAS 79 fire risk assessment and carry out general staff fire training to inform workers of issues that we found in the building. The premises manager of the multi-tenanted building has produced a fire emergency plan of the building and with our help our client will produce their own bespoke version and implement fire marshal sweep systems on their floor.

For detail of fire marshal courses London, fire training courses in London and fire risk assessments London click these links.

Do all staff need to have fire extinguisher training at a workplace?


This is one of the most common questions asked at fire safety courses in London – whether it be on fire safety for managers courses, fire marshal courses London or fire extinguisher courses London!

All thirteen of the premises specific fire safety guides (here is a link to London Fire Risk Assessment Consultants that has an easy to access page to all of the guides) stipulate what staff need to know. This includes the use and location of fire extinguishers in the premises. There is no requirement for a hands on practical session.

The question is detailed on the home page of City Fire Training website (Oct 16th) – If you cannot see it on there then it has been moved to the news archive – Hope you find it useful.