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Fire Warden Duties – Key Duties and Responsibilities of a Fire Warden or Floor Warden in a Workplace


The following requirements for fire wardens, form part of the training available within our advanced fire warden training course.


What is a Fire Warden


In accordance with the Australian Standard 3745-2010 Planning for Emergencies in Facilities, a Fire Warden, also referred to as a Floor Warden or Area Warden, is an appointed individual responsible for applying fire safety measures during an emergency within a facility. Their role is critical in ensuring the safety of all occupants, as they possess the necessary training to identify potential fire hazards, activate alarms, and efficiently evacuate individuals.

To qualify for this position, one must undergo comprehensive instruction that encompasses various aspects of health and safety training, including identifying risks, comprehending protocols, and operating firefighting equipment. Additionally, practical exercises are conducted to simulate real-life scenarios and prepare them for any potential emergencies.

They must collaborate closely with their colleagues after receiving proper training. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that all building occupants are well-informed about protocols, assembly points, and emergency contacts. In case of any unexpected incidents, their role is pivotal in creating a secure environment for everyone within the facility.

What guidance is provided in Australia for Floor Warden / Fire Warden duties


The Australian Standard AS 3745 Planning for Emergencies in Facilities, serves as a comprehensive guide for incident management planning in different facilities across Australia. Its primary objective is to equip all occupants with the necessary knowledge and skills to respond efficiently in the event of an incident, including but not limited to fire, flood, and other natural calamities.

AS 3745 guidelines outline the essential planning and response procedures, such as hazard identification, control measures implementation, response plan development, regular exercises, record keeping, maintenance, the differing roles (including wardens) in emergency control organisations and their duties.

The Australian Standard AS 4083:2012 is an alternate guide for healthcare facilities that outlines guidelines for planning and management of these facilities during emergency situations. Its primary objective is to safeguard the well-being of patients, staff, and visitors by mitigating potential hazards.

The key duties of a fire warden

The duties of a warden are contained within the Australian Standards, separated into three main categories. They are required to perform duties in times of Pre-Emergency, Emergency and Post-Emergency. In more detail, the requirements for wardens include:



Pre Emergency Duties



Confirming sufficient wardens for their area of responsibility

One of the primary responsibilities of a fire warden is ensuring that there are enough wardens for their designated area. To achieve this, they must first assess the requirements for their assigned area to determine how many will be needed to adequately cover it. They should also take into account any potential hazards or areas that may require additional attention.

Once they have determined the appropriate number of needed, it is essential for them to ensure that those individuals are properly trained and equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to carry out their duties effectively. This includes providing them with training on evacuation drills and procedures, fire safety protocols, and communication methods.

Learn more about how many fire wardens are required in the workplace

    Coordinating Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans with mobility impaired persons

    One of your primary duties is to ensure that all individuals in the building are safely evacuated in case of an emergency. However, coordinating personal emergency evacuation plans with mobility-impaired persons can be challenging. It’s essential to have a plan in place for these individuals and make sure everyone is aware of it.

    Firstly, identify who among the occupants are mobility impaired and determine their specific needs. Some may require assistance such as wheelchairs or walkers, while others may need help moving down stairs or navigating through narrow doorways. Make sure you communicate this information with other wardens and first responders so they can provide appropriate assistance.

    Secondly, establish individualized evacuation plans for each person with mobility impairment. Involve them in creating their plans as they know best what works for them and what doesn’t. Consider the location of their workspace or living area relative to exits and create alternative routes if necessary. Review these plans regularly and practice drills with everyone involved to ensure smooth execution during an actual incident.

    Overall, coordinating personal emergency evacuation plans for people with special needs requires sensitivity, communication, and planning. By taking proactive steps ahead of time, you can ensure that everyone in your facility is safe during an event.


    Learn more about the coordination of Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEP) for employees

    Report on deficiencies with emergency equipment and ensure warden ID equipment is available

    There may be instances when compliance deficiencies are observed with the emergency equipment. For example, a portable fire extinguisher or fire blanket might have expired test tags. In such cases, an important role includes the reporting of deficiencies immediately to the appropriate management so that prompt action can be taken.

    In addition to emergency equipment, warden ID equipment should be checked to see whether it is available and accessible. ID equipment may include vests, hats, helmets or identification cards. These items make it easier for occupants, firefighters or other responders to identify and communicate with wardens during an event.

    The availability of these items should be checked regularly and report any issues to their supervisors promptly so they can be addressed before an event arises. Overall, regular inspections of both fire emergency and ID equipment are essential duties in ensuring the safety of all building occupants in case of emergencies.

    Learn more about the colours and different types of fire warden identification equipment.

      Communicate emergency response procedures authorised by the emergency plan to occupants within their area

      It is essential to communicate emergency response procedures to occupants within their designated area. The emergency plan should provide clear guidelines on what occupants should do in case of an event, including fire outbreaks. Communication can be done through various means such as emails, posters, training sessions and drills.

      During a training session or drill, occupants can be taken through the steps they need to take in case of an event. This will help them familiarise themselves with the evacuation process and know where the safety equipment is located. Posters placed at strategic positions around the building can act as reminders for occupants on what actions they need to take during an event.

      In conclusion, effective communication of emergency response procedures is crucial in ensuring that people are prepared and equipped to handle events when they arise. Wardens play a significant role in ensuring that all occupants are aware of what needs to be done during an event by taking advantage of different communication channels available.

        Coordinate relevant housekeeping safety practices

        It is crucial to coordinate relevant safety practices including clearing paths of egress and creating access to portable fire attack equipment. This involves ensuring that all exits remain clear and emergency equipment is accessible in the event of an emergency. It is important to have a designated exit route that employees are familiar with, and regular drills should be conducted to ensure everyone knows what to do.

        In addition, wardens should regularly inspect stairwells, hallways, and other areas where people may congregate for potential hazards or obstructions. This includes keeping storage items away from exits and maintaining clear access to fire alarms and extinguishers. Any obstructions found should be promptly addressed and cleared as necessary.

        Overall, the coordination of relevant safety practices related to clearing paths of egress requires constant attention and vigilance on the part of a warden. By taking proactive steps to keep exit routes clear and accessible, potential injuries or fatalities can be prevented.

          Undertake required fire warden training, fire safety training, tests and drills

          Attending required fire warden training, tests and exercises is an essential part of a wardens role. These activities will help you stay prepared for events and ensure that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to fulfil your key duties effectively. Your employer should provide you with training sessions that cover fire prevention, procedures for evacuation and re-entering of premises, emergency communication systems and equipment operation.

          Additionally, it’s important to take part in regular fire safety training and fire drills so that everyone in the building knows what to do if there is a real emergency. You should also attend any relevant fire evacuation exercises related to your role. These may include practical demonstrations of how to use firefighting equipment or simulations of different types of emergencies.

          By attending required training, tests and exercises regularly, you can ensure that you are up-to-date with the latest protocols and best practices for dealing with fire risk and other incidents. This will not only benefit you personally but could also save lives in case of an actual incident. Remember: being well-prepared is key when it comes to responding quickly and effectively during a crisis!

          The warden training requirements under AS 3745 cover a broad spectrum of subjects including roles and responsibilities, emergency procedures, emergency responses, reporting, communication, pre / emergency / post activities, planning and assisting persons with mobility issues, human behaviour and building safety systems.

          Online warden training provides a cost-effective and convenient way for wardens to receive the necessary preparation for their duties. The benefits of online training include flexibility in scheduling, accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection, and the ability to complete courses at one’s own pace. This type of training also allows wardens to revisit materials as often as needed, ensuring they fully understand all aspects of their role.

          Additionally, online training can provide interactive simulations and real-life scenarios that better prepare individuals for handling emergencies. This type of training can make it easier for wardens to develop the necessary skills and knowledge required to effectively manage events that may arise in their workplace. Furthermore, with online training programs being monitored by experienced professionals in the field, these courses are designed to provide up-to-date information on current industry practices – equipping wardens with valuable insights into emerging trends and best practices within their field.



            Emergency Duties



            Notify emergency services

            One of the most critical responsibilities of a warden is to notify emergency services immediately in case of a fire. Time is of the essence when it comes to fire safety, and every second counts in saving lives and minimizing property damage. The moment an alarm sounds, they must take swift action by contacting and providing them with all relevant information about the location and nature of the fire.

            The communication between a warden and emergency services must be clear, concise, and accurate. It is essential for them to remain calm, focused, and provide as much detail as possible so that responders can quickly determine their course of action. They should also keep track of any updates or changes in the situation until help arrives.

            Implement emergency response procedures

            As a Warden, one of the most crucial responsibilities is to implement response procedures. This requires effective communication, planning and training. Training employees on response procedures is also crucial in minimizing damage caused by incidents.

            This includes conducting fire drills regularly and providing training on how to use fire extinguishers properly. By implementing these response procedures correctly, we can help prevent accidents from occurring in the workplace and keep everyone safe during events.

            Learn more about emergency procedures in the workplace.

            Investigate area of responsibility for anomalies and personnel who have not evacuated

            It is also their responsibility to investigate any anomalies and ensure that all personnel have evacuated in case of an emergency. Anomalies may include anything from unusual smells or sounds to smoke or flames. It is essential to investigate these anomalies as soon as possible to prevent any potential harm that may occur.

            In addition to investigating anomalies, you must also ensure that everyone has evacuated. This means checking rooms, offices, and other areas of responsibility for anyone who may not have left the building. If someone is found still inside the building during an evac, you must alert them of the situation and assist them in evacuating immediately.

            To effectively carry out these duties, it is important to conduct evacuation drills and understand your area of responsibility thoroughly. Regular drills should be conducted so that employees are familiar with emergency warning tones and evac routes and can respond quickly. By fulfilling your duties diligently, you help keep everyone safe during potentially dangerous situations.

              Commence evacuation if warranted

              As a fire warden, one of the most critical responsibilities is to direct everyone to evacuate your assigned area if warranted. This decision could be challenging to make, as it involves balancing the risks and benefits of evacuating versus not evacuating. However, it is crucial to err on the side of caution when it comes to safety.

              Before deciding to evacuate, they should assess the situation by thoroughly inspecting the area and evaluating the level of risk posed by the fire. This includes checking whether smoke or flames are near any exits or if there are any obstructions that could impede escape routes.

              If evacuation is deemed necessary, wardens must act quickly but calmly. They should immediately alert occupants using a pre-determined signal or alarm system and direct them towards designated emergency routes and exits, to ensure that nobody is left behind and all find their way out of the building. It’s also essential for them to ensure everyone follows proper evac procedures and assist those who may require extra help, such as elderly individuals or people with disabilities.

              Learn more about workplace emergency evacuation plans.

                Communicate with senior members of the Emergency Control Organisation

                As a fire warden, it is essential to communicate effectively with senior members of the Emergency Control Organisation (ECO), such as the Chief Warden, Deputy Chief, or Communications Officers. The role of these senior members is to ensure that all protocols are followed and everyone in the building is safe. They have the authority to make important decisions during a situation and provide guidance to other emergency control organisation personnel.

                When communicating with senior ECO members, it is crucial to follow their instructions promptly and accurately. This includes maintaining clear communication channels at all times, listening carefully for updates or changes in procedures, and reporting any issues or concerns immediately.

                In summary, effective communication between fire wardens and senior ECO members is critical for ensuring a safe workplace during an incident. By following their instructions closely and keeping them informed about current conditions on the ground, they can help protect those around them while also fulfilling their duties as part of an organised response team.

                  Key duties to manage own safety and deputise other competent persons if required

                  As a fire warden, it is essential to manage your safety and the safety of others. You must be familiar with the building’s layout, evacuation procedures, assembly points, and fire-fighting equipment locations. Additionally, you need to assess and mitigate potential hazards within the premises regularly.

                  In case of any situation, you may have to deputize other trained individuals who can competently carry out specific tasks. For instance, if there is a major event that requires additional assistance, you may have to delegate these duties to other competent occupants.

                    Check fire and smoke doors are properly latched

                    One of the primary responsibilities is to ensure that fire and smoke doors are properly latched. These doors play a crucial role in preventing the spread of fire, smoke, and toxic fumes throughout a building. In case of an event, these doors must be able to close quickly and effectively to prevent the fire from engulfing other parts of the building.

                    Additionally, it is essential to make sure that there aren’t any obstructions blocking these doors or wedges holding them open. Any obstruction may compromise the effectiveness of these barriers during a situation. 

                    Ensure an orderly flow of occupants

                    Wardens must ensure an orderly flow of occupants in case of an emergency. This means that they must have a clear understanding of the building’s layout and the evacuation plan. They should also be able to communicate this information effectively to all occupants, so everyone can evacuate safely.

                    In addition, wardens must be trained in behavioural management techniques. In case of a real emergency, it’s not uncommon for people to panic and become disoriented or unresponsive. In such instances, they must use their training and experience to keep everyone calm and moving toward safety in an efficient manner.

                    Assist persons with mobility issues

                    As a fire warden, one of your primary responsibilities is ensuring the safety and well-being of all individuals within your building during an evacuation. This includes assisting persons with mobility issues to exit the building safely and efficiently. Depending on the severity of their mobility issues, this may require providing physical support or utilizing specialized equipment such as wheelchairs or stair chairs.

                    It is important to have a plan in place for evacuating those with mobility issues before an emergency occurs. This can include identifying individuals who may need assistance, designating specific routes that are easily accessible for them, and training other staff members on how to properly assist these individuals during an evacuation.

                    During an actual situation, it is crucial to remain calm and patient when assisting persons with mobility issues. Take the time to explain what is happening and reassure them that they will be safely evacuated. Be mindful of any potential obstacles or hazards in their path and adjust accordingly to ensure their safety while exiting the building. By prioritizing the needs of those with mobility issues, you can help ensure that everyone in your building remains safe and secure.



                    Post Emergency Duties



                    Report actions taken during the debrief process

                    During the debrief process, the fire warden should report any actions taken during an emergency. This includes activating alarms, calling for help from emergency services, evacuating personnel and controlling access points to prevent further danger. They must be able to provide clear and concise information about their actions in order to assist with future planning and response strategies.

                    If any equipment or systems failed, this should also be reported. For example, if a fire extinguisher did not work as intended or if there were problems with the sprinkler system, this information is critical for improving safety measures in the future.

                    In addition to reporting immediate actions taken during an incident, they should also discuss any follow-up measures that were This could include investigations into what caused the incident or organizing training sessions for staff members on how to respond more effectively in a similar crisis scenario. By fully participating in debriefs and reporting all relevant information regarding their actions during incidents, they can help create safer working environments for everyone involved.

                    Summary – The responsibilities of a fire warden or floor warden

                    In conclusion, being a fire warden is not an easy task, but it is extremely important. Fire wardens are responsible for ensuring that their occupants and area are safe and secure in the event of an emergency. This means they must have extensive knowledge of fire safety protocols and be able to quickly respond to any emergencies.

                    Furthermore, fire wardens must also be able to effectively communicate with all staff and visitors within their jurisdiction about emergency procedures and evacuation plans. They should conduct regular drills to ensure everyone knows what to do in case of a fire.

                    Overall, being a fire warden requires dedication, responsibility, and quick thinking. It’s not just about putting out fires – it’s about preventing them from happening in the first place and keeping people safe when they do occur. For these reasons, fire wardens play a crucial role in maintaining safety within our buildings and communities.

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