Does the sweeper have to be designated and trained person or can it be defined as anyone in a given area? Answer
Sweeping is usually undertaken by designated fire wardens, who are suitably trained.
Am I exposing a designated Fire Sweeper to additional risk by asking him to possibly go from a place of safety to one that may have a fire in order to sweep the area to ensure others have evacuated. Answer
Sweeping is usually undertaken by designated fire wardens, who are suitably trained. When the fire alarm sounds they are to ensure that the areas for which they have responsibility are clear of personnel as they make their way out of the building. Only the fire warden in the zone in which the fire has occurred may have the problem described, although in most cases it will not be a significant issue as most people will react to a fire that can be seen or smelled. The main point is that fire wardens, or any other staff, once in a place of safety, should not be instructed to enter an area that is thought to be on fire, and as part of their training they should be instructed that they must not undertake their duties to the extent that they may put themselves in danger.
Register of staff in the building - I am hoping you can provide me with some advice and information. I work for a housing association based in Northern Ireland. We are expanding and I am seeking guidance on how best to monitor which staff are in the building. In particular I am thinking of instances of a fire and needing to know who we are responsible for/need to account for. Answer
We are not sure that we have interpreted your question correctly, but with our interpretation we think there are two approaches to the problem. The first is to record who enters (and subsequently leaves) the building. This may be done by a signing in and out system or a board with, for example, sliding ‘in’ and ‘out’ signs. The second is for a trained fire warden (or wardens) to sweep the building when the fire alarm sounds to ensure that everyone has left the premises. All staff should be accounted for by a role call at the assembly point.
Register of staff in the building - Can you please let me know if it is a legal requirement to have staff signing in when they arrive at our practice and signing out when they leave? Answer
There is no legal requirement for staff or visitors to sign in and out when visiting your premises. Your emergency procedures should, however, include measures to ensure that everyone has been accounted for in the event of a fire. If you have a significant number of staff a diary or record from the reception desk may be necessary and should be taken to the assembly point. Alternatively fire warden(s) or other designated member(s) of staff could check to ensure that the premises is clear of personnel before leaving the premises themselves. The procedures should form part of the fire risk assessment undertaken for the premises in compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
We are three companies in one building. Max of 23 people, but not all the time. My company has 12/13 people, the first floor has 2/3 and the g/f 6/7. Do we need a fire marshal from each company or do we all have to have fire marshal training? I just want to get this right, if you could help me I would be most grateful. Answer
I understand from your message that you work in a multi tenanted
premises and occupy an area on one floor of the building, employing
around 12 people.
Under the current fire safety legislation (Regulatory Reform
(Fire Safety) Order 2005) there is a duty placed normally on the
employer (albeit dependant upon circumstances) to ensure that fire
safety on the premises (at least those areas that they use) is
effectively implemented and maintained. The process by which this is
achieved is via a fire risk assessment which must be suitable and
sufficient for the premises. Hence each employer (in the legislation
called the ‘Responsible Person’) in your building will need to have in
place a fire risk assessment (potentially the landlord must also have
one for the common parts of the premises (stairways etc)). The
legislation also requires that in multi tenanted buildings the
‘responsible persons’ coordinate and cooperate their approached to fire
As part of establishing appropriate fire precautions in the
premises the legislation also says that you must have means for tackling
a fire on the premises and a plan for evacuation in the event of an
emergency. It goes on to say that you must have a sufficient number of
competent persons trained to implement those measures. Most
organisations look to ensure compliance with these requirements by
appointing fire marshals (often also called fire wardens) who will be
trained to use the portable fire extinguishers and assist in an
There are specific courses for fire marshals/wardens which cover
all the appropriate aspects of their role – including an opportunity for
hands on training in the use of extinguishers. The FPA runs such a
course at various locations across the country. Please see the following
web page for more information if you are interested: -
Fire Safety for Fire Wardens
You can of course choose to train all of your staff to this standard,
however, it may be more appropriate to arrange for general fire safety
awareness training for all staff. Again, this is something that FPA
could deliver on a bespoke basis if required. Please contact our Event
Manager, Lisa Ibbotson if you would like to discuss this in more detail (
An alternative approach would be to deliver this training yourselves –
FPA have a range of products which could assist in this including our
Training Information Pack in Fire Safety Awareness which includes our
Fire Safety in Order DVD with a high quality PowerPoint presentation,
trainer handbook, handouts, quiz sheets and delegate certificate
template. See here for more information.
Training Information Pack in Fire Safety Awareness
I hope that I have been able to answer your question (and apologies
if the response comes over a little too sales oriented but hopefully
I’ve been able to give you some pointers). If you want to get a better
understanding of what the legislation requires (including for training)
the Government have produced a series of free guides focussed on
different types of building occupancies (i.e. offices, educational
establishments, residential care etc) which can be downloaded from the
internet. A full list is provided on the right hand side of the
I would recommend that you look at the Regulatory Reform (Fire
Safety) Order 2005 - A short guide to making your premises safe from
fire first and then choose the appropriate occupancy guide if more
information is needed.
We currently have an attendance register which people tick in and out which assists with fire drills etc. We have designated people who carry out a ‘sweep’ of the building in the event of a fire/fire drill. We have now invested in access fobs for people to enter the building via other doors, and therefore they don’t tick in an out now. Is it still necessary to have a fire register?
We were under the impression that as we carry out a sweep system in the event of an emergency evacuation being required that perhaps a register wasn’t necessary?
As you state that designated members of staff complete a sweep of the building in the event of a fire evacuation, it is acceptable that no register is kept.