While it is not a legal requirement in Australia to have fire wardens at your workplace, it is vital to employ them to be able to meet the health and safety obligations regarding emergency plans and procedures. Under the Australian guideline 3745-2010 — Planning for emergencies in premises, an organisation is required to have an emergency control unit established, and the chief, as well as the deputy fire wardens, appointed for a facility or building.
Also, section 43 of the harmonised WHS regulations compels the employer or any other individual conducting the business to prepare and sustain an emergency plan. This includes emergencies that might come by as a result of the fire and other types of emergencies.
No matter the number of stuff you have, it is essential to make sufficient preparations for the well-being of your workers in case of a fire outbreak. And, it is the warden/wardens appointed in your organisation which will carry out these roles.
What about training?
The Australian legislation does not contain any legal education requirements for a fire warden, but their effectiveness in implementing the laid down emergency plan will largely depend on the training they get. It is recommended that you train your fire man and provide them with refresher courses after every 12 months. This is in conformity with the Australian standards to be conversant with all the regulatory and statutory changes to their duties. FCF Fire and Electrical Canberra can provide annual training for fire wardens so that the organisation is prepared in the case of a fire emergency.
What is covered this training?
The fire warden training will equip the personnel with the necessary skills needed to work as a fire warden in the case of an emergency. The course covers:
• Types of evacuation
• Emergency coordination
• Human behaviour in emergencies
• Building fire safety
• Australian Standard 3745-2010 Requirements
• Raising the alarm
• The fire warden’s Legal and Regulatory Requirements
• Fire warden identification
• Responsibilities and procedures
• Investigating fire incident
• Bomb Threat Procedures
• Emergencies that might require evacuation
• Post-evacuation activities
There is also the practical part of the fire warden training which equips learners with firsthand fire warden evacuation experience.
Duties and Responsibilities of a Fire Warden
The roles of a fire warden fall into two broad categories:
• Proactive daily duties
• Reactive emergency duties
Proactive daily duties
Fire wardens perform various fire risk assessments to lower the chances of fire accidents in the workplace. Their proactive duties include:
• Instructing workers on the best ways to respond to an emergency
• Raising awareness with other staff members regarding the fire risks that exist in the workplace
• Helping in the implementation and improvement of effective emergency procedures in the workplace
• Leading the fire drills and evacuation procedures- they should be familiar with all exits and escape routes from their designated area.
• To help in preventing emergencies by monitoring the effectiveness of the fire control measures.
Reactive fire warden duties
While their primary role is to try and curb fires, there are times that fire will occur and the warden will have to react. The reactive responsibilities include:
• Fighting fires
• Raising alarms
• Directing staff to safe, accessible exit routes
• Assisting disabled people to exit the building
• Closing all doors and the fire doors
• Closing all windows, both in rooms and corridors
• Reporting to the fire services on their arrival
What is a deputy fire warden?
A deputy fire warden assumes the fire warden’s responsibilities mentioned above in case the fire warden is absent.
Fire wardens ensure that a workplace is well prepared for a fire crisis. They help in controlling risks that may affect the safety of staff members. To perform their duties effectively, they should undergo adequate training for such measures. Contact FCF Fire and Electrical today for a free quote on Fire safety training and fire warden training for your business.