As an employer or business owner, you know you have a legal obligation to appoint fire marshals. You know you are required to provide arrangements and procedures to manage fire safety in your workplaces. So, let’s get straight to the point. What skills do your Fire Marshals and other employees need to learn? Which fire safety training courses should you choose? Do we need to provide first safety training for all employees? We will explain everything, and also show you what happens when things go wrong.

Fire Marshals

In this section we will tell you what a Fire Marshal does, how many you need to appoint and which fire safety training courses they need to take to become qualified.

Your appointed Fire Marshals are responsible for undertaking the following on your behalf:

General day-to-day fire safety duties

  • Checking emergency exits and fire doors are in good working condition;
  • Checking for obstructions to escape routes;
  • Checking fire extinguishers and ‘break glass points’;
  • Fire alarm tests;
  • Checking emergency lighting;
  • Ensuring correct storage and use of hazardous/flammable substances;
  • Equipment and PAT tests;
  • Recording fire safety checks in fire manual;
  • End of day floor rounds.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

  • Contacting and liaising with emergency services;
  • Overseeing safe evacuation (including arranging the escort of any vulnerable persons under the PEEP (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan) system;
  • Extinguishing minor fires in accordance with training;
  • Roll call and ensuring building is empty;
  • Periodic evacuation drills are also required to ensure evacuations are undertaken effectively.

How many Fire Marshals do you need? That depends on the risk level of your workplace, how many employees you have and how large your site is. You also need to ensure that you have cover for absence, holidays and that you have at least 1 Fire Marshal on duty during your working hours.

We would recommend appointing at least 2 Fire Marshals for small or average sized workplaces. Then a further Fire Marshal for every 50 employees and for every floor if you have a large premises.

Fire safety training courses for Fire Marshals:

We recommend the following courses:

Qualsafe Awards Level 2 Award in Fire Safety (QCF) – One day course which provides all of the skills necessary to perform the above duties, whilst also providing knowledge as to the causes of fires, risks associated with fires and the principles of fire safety management.
Fire Marshals and Wardens – One or half day course that can be tailored to the specific needs of the candidate and can be provided on site.

ADL Associates are approved by Qualsafe and CIEH to provide the Level 2 Award in Fire Safety. All of our trainers are qualified and can provide the courses at a location convenient to you, whether its at your workplace or a mutually convenient location.

Fire Safety training courses for management

As well as providing your Fire Marshals with the appropriate fire safety training courses, it is important that any safety induction training provided to new starters include fire safety awareness topics.

There are also fire safety training courses aimed at management employees (such as managers, supervisors and team leaders):

The Fire Safety Management (One Day) Course provides in depth training relating to the legal obligations of the Responsible Person under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. If you would like more detailed information on this course, visit our training page.

When fire safety goes wrong

It is the responsibility of your business’ Responsible Person for safety to ensure that all of your procedures and arrangements and your fire risk assessment are legally compliant, thorough and actively maintained.

A fire risk assessment should be undertaken by a suitably qualified individual. Our next blog post will discuss fire risk assessments in detail.

Here are some examples of what happens when fire safety goes wrong, not always at the fault of the business owner. Not only are your premises at risk, but so, potentially, is the whole local area around your premises.

Many people can relate to a hotel fire. Whether you work in the industry, like a good number of our clients, or whether you simply stay in hotels, the thought of being trapped in an upper floor hotel room is horrifically imaginable.

In 2016, the ‘oldest hotel in England’ was destroyed by a huge, spreading fire. Flames and spitting debris caught hold of the roof from neighbouring premises and left the hotel a roofless, smoking shell. The raging fire, which took 20 fire engines to extinguish, also destroyed other historical buildings in the locale. Image credit: BBC News.

The Royal Clarence Hotel Fire

In 1995 a B&Q store was gutted by a huge blaze.

I think the words of one B&Q employee promote fire safety awareness with some grace, “I’m not dying in a fire, and I’m not dying in B&Q…”

And that, quite simply, is why you control fire safety risks in your workplace.

What next?

If you have any queries regarding the fire safety training courses discussed in this blog post, or if you would like to arrange a course, please call us on 01926 623 133 or email us at

We run regular Fire Safety training courses at Warwick’s Innovation Centre and would be more than happy to discuss your onsite fire safety training needs too.