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An Overview of the Duties of the Fire Warden.

What are the duties of a fire warden?

Fire wardens are the staff members within a workplace assigned the responsibility of dealing with fire-related emergencies.

The duties of a fire warden are two-fold.

Proactive - take steps to reduce the risk of fires occurring in the workplace.

Reactive - appropriately responding to fire-related emergencies by following the fire emergency procedure and the more comprehensive fire prevention plan.

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Fire Warden

How does the fire warden receive approval to perform their duties?

Short Answer: The Australian Standard AS 3745-2010 planning for Emergencies in Facilities is widely accepted as the benchmark for implementing procedures and training. 

Although there is no set of mandatory rules, the Australian Standard AS 3745-2010 planning for Emergencies in Facilities,

"Outlines the minimum requirements for the establishment, validation and implementation of an emergency plan for a facility to provide for the safety of occupants of that facility and its visitors leading up to and during an evacuation."

It sets out the standard for the training and appointment of emergency responders in the workplace, including fire wardens.

According to the standard, a person appointed as the warden shall:

  • Be capable of performing their duties;
  • Be capable of leading and taking command;
  • Display good decision-making skills;
  • Demonstrate the capability to remain calm under pressure;
  • Be available to undertake their appointed duties;
  • Be capable of effectively communicating with occupants and visitors;
  • Be familiar with the facility; and
  • Be able to undergo relevant training.

Many institutes provide fire warden training courses. Ensure that the course you choose complies with Australian Standard AS 3745-2010 and the state legislature.

Upon successful completion, the participants should be accredited per nationally recognized competencies. 

PUAWER005B – Operate as part of an emergency control organization.

CPPFES2005A – Demonstrate first attack firefighting equipment

According to Australian Standards, the fire warden training should be refreshed once every two years.   

What makes up the fire warden's checklist?

A checklist is provided to the fire warden per WHS Regulation 2011.

It is recommended that the form be completed every 6-months.

It contains a list of questions the inspector can answer yes, no, do not know, or not applicable.

The questions are divided into (1) Item and (2) Spot-Check/ Inspection Items.


  • White vest (or hat) available?
  • 1+ yellow vest (or hat) available?
  • Various red vests (or hats) available?
  • List of the number of doors/that exists?
  • Is the Evacuation plan displayed in a prominent position?
  • Are emergency procedure flip chats public?
  • Are there a sufficient number of wardens available?
  • Have an adequate number of wardens been trained?
  • Have communications officers been appointed? (If required)
  • Have communications officers been appointed? (If required)
  • Is your institute's Disaster Management Contingency Plan up to date? 

Spot-Check/ Inspection Items

  • Is the emergency assembly area known?
  • Is the alternative assembly area known?
  • Is the location of the electrical switchboard known?
  • Are electrical items turned off at night?
  • Is the electrical equipment tagged and tested?
  • Are the emergency fire exits illuminated?
  • Do the fire extinguishers have the current yellow tag?
  • Is there clear access to all the fire extinguishers?
  • Is the fire exit passage clear?
  • Is the area outside the fire exit doors clear for 2 meters?
  • Can the alarms be heard in all areas?
  • Is the date of the last evacuation drill known?
  • Have all the staff members been inducted in emergency procedures?
Fire Warden

What are the tools used by the fire warden to perform their duties?

The fire warden kit contains essential items that assist fire wardens in emergencies or emergency drills.

The kits can contain the following:

  • High Visibility Vests (Yellow, White, Red)
  • Reflective bands
  • Reflective "Fire Warden" badges
  • Gas Horns (used in situations where the power failure has affected the building's electrical systems and alarms)
  • Torches
  • Fire Warden Sign on an extendable pole. 
  • Whistles
  • 25W megaphone/ Battery powered megaphone.
  • 12-hour safety lightsticks
  • Safety helmets
  • Lifeaxe (can be used to break glass up to 6 mm thick quickly and safely)


  • First Aid Kits
  • Staff clipboards
  • Fire Extinguishers (Water, Dry Powder, Wet Chemical, Carbon Dioxide, Foam)
  • Fire Escape Ladder  

What departments assist fire wardens in their duties?

Law Enforcement Agencies, Fire Fighters, and Medical staff can assist fire wardens in performing their proactive and reactive duties. 

Related Questions:

What are the Proactive duties of the fire warden?

The fire wardens engage in proactive duties before the start of a fire.

Proactive duties are performed to help reduce the risk of fires starting in the first place.

The duties include;

  • Assisting in formulating detailed fire risk and emergency plans for the workplace.
  • Arranging fire safety drills.
  • Managing documentation (inspection reports, risk assessment reports, and drill roll call records)
  • Regular testing of the fire suppression and detection equipment available at the workplace.
  • General testing of workplace equipment
  • Hazard prevention (ensure the safe storage of flammable and hazardous material)
  • Ensuring fire exits and other safe passages are free from obstructions.
  • Secure alternative routes and assembly points in anticipation of a situation where different paths are blocked.    

What are the reactive duties of a fire warden?

Reactive duties are performed during emergencies.

The reactive duties include;

  • Raising the alarm in case of an emergency.
  • Alerting emergency services 
  • Deploying the first line of firefighting equipment (extinguishers - the type of extinguisher varies depending on the kind of fire)
  • Effectively communicating with workplace staff.
  • Assist in the evacuation of persons with special needs. 
  • Closing doors and windows. 
  • Isolating vulnerable areas and machinery where it is safe to do so.
  • Administering First Aid to injured individuals.
  • Overseeing role call at designated assembly points.
  • Communicating with emergency response services.
  • Informing staff on when it is safe to re-enter the premises.
  • Ensuring that isolated/vulnerable areas remain out of bounds. 
  • Completing the post-incident reports.

What are the reactive duties of a fire warden?

The Australian Standard 3475 covers a variety of situations that can affect a building, structure, or workplace.

They are;

  • Bomb Threats
  • Building Invasions
  • Bush Fire
  • Chemical, Biological, and Radiological incidents
  • Civil Disorder
  • Cyclones during storm surges
  • Earthquakes
  • Fire
  • Floods
  • Hazardous Substance incidents
  • Industrial Accidents
  • Letter Bombs
  • Medical Emergency
  • Serve Weather/ Storm Damage
  • Structural Instability 
  • Terrorism
  • Transport Accident
  • Toxic Emission
Fire Warden

How many fire wardens do you need in a workplace?

Short Answer: There should be enough wardens to cover all areas of a building.

The building layout's complexity, the institute's business model, and the presence of vulnerable areas in buildings can influence the number of fire wardens required.

As a rule of thumb, if an area takes more than three minutes to sweep thoroughly, the site should have more than one warden appointed to ensure safety.

Is a fire warden necessary for insurance purposes?

Short Answer: Yes

Fire is one of the main risk factors that commercial property insurance is designed to protect against.

Insurers routinely stipulate that the company should take the necessary risk management steps.

The insurance company could interpret the absence of a fire warden as the company not taking the necessary steps to mitigate the risk, potentially causing your insurer to decline the payout.

Should fire wardens undergo additional training?

Short Answer: Yes

In addition to the training prescribed in AS 3745-2010, Fire wardens are required to undergo additional training, including but not limited to the following:

  • Their roles and responsibilities within the facility Emergency Management manual.
  • Duties of the Emergency Planning Committee.
  • Duties of the Emergency Response Team, where it exists. 
  • Decision-making, command and control of emergency incidents and record keeping.
  • Actions for specific emergencies are contained in the Emergency Management Manual.
  • Coordination of communications during emergencies, including the use of installed specialized communication equipment.
  • Liaison with emergency services.
  • Coordination of evacuation management.
  • Coordination of post-incident management incorporating peer support, debriefing, relocation, recovery, and similar.
  • Coordination of training, exercising and assessment activities for the ECO.  

What are the evacuation procedures that fire wardens need to follow?

Short Answer: The evacuation procedure consists of three phases.

Phase 01 - Removal of Persons from the Immediate Danger Area

Once the individuals are removed from one area to the next, close all the doors and windows to confine the smoke and fire to the affected area.

Phase 02 - Removal of a Safe Area

If the heat and smoke become severe, the occupants should be moved through fire/ smoke control doors to safe areas on the same level.

Phase 03 - Complete Evacuation of a Floor

Should the emergency necessitate the evacuation of the affected floor, the role of the fire warden is to direct occupants to the assembly points via emergency exits.


  • The role of the fire warden is vital in the workplace.
  • The duties of a fire warden are two-fold. (Preventive and Reactive)
  • Fire warden training courses should conform to Australian Standard AS-3745-2010.
  • The number of fire wardens required per building depends on factors such as the building layout, business model, and the presence of vulnerable areas. 
  • The presence of a fire warden/s can be beneficial for securing the insurance claim in case of property damage. 
  • Fire wardens should undergo additional training apart from those mentioned in the Australian Standard AS-3745-2010. 


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