Fire Warden Hat Colours Explained
Everyone has participated in a fire drill at their workplace at one time or another. The drill starts and your designated office fire warden, easily identified by their hat and ability to command a room of mildly irritated office workers, leads you all to the fire exit and completes the checks.
But do you know what the different fire warden hats mean and the responsibilities each fire warden has?
Fire wardens have to be both proactive and reactive. It’s a fire warden’s job to migrate risks in the workplace by keeping track of fire hazards and reducing the risk of emergency events in the workplace. They are also responsible for planning and advising on the safe evacuation of staff and other emergency plans in line with the chief fire warden and workplace health and safety standards.
Different types of fire wardens
There are four different types of fire wardens. Each with different responsibilities and roles to perform in the event of an emergency.
All these wardens share certain responsibilities. They need to implement and advise on emergency response procedures. They all need to complete regular assessments of the workplace and any hazards that could lead to an emergency situation to prevent the situation where possible.
It is their responsibility to ensure that staff are made aware of hazards in the workplace, and they need to control the safety measures put in place to manage these hazards and the procedures for these workplace hazards.
All fire wardens also need to lead the charge for emergency and evacuation training including regularly running fire drills. For this reason they need to know the location of all exits and all evacuation routes within the facility and they must obviously help during an emergency.
Chief Fire Warden – White Helmet
The Chief Fire Warden wears the white helmet and usually also a vest. These guys are the head honchos. They are in charge of the other fire wardens and everything to do with fire and emergency management and safety falls under their purview.
The Chief Fire Warden will act as the final decision maker for all emergency situations. This means they need to make calls on the best course of action when an emergency happens and ensure that all emergency protocol is being followed. They need to contact emergency services and get the relevant help out to the facility as quickly as possible, whether it is emergency fire services, ambulances or police.
Because the Chief Fire Warden is in charge of all other wardens, it is their job to make sure that all other fire wardens are following emergency and evacuation procedures, instructing their wardens on the right course of action and ensuring that all floors are cleared, and all staff and personnel are evacuated. They need to retain control of the situation and collaborate with emergency personnel, handing over control when emergency services arrive and aiding in any way required.
Deputy Chief Fire Warden – Also Wears the White Helmet
While the Deputy Chief Fire Wardens also wear white helmets, they are second in command to the Chief Fire Warden. It is their responsibility to act as a point of contact if the Chief Fire Warden is busy during the emergency. They are required to support the Chief Fire Warden in any way they need and if the Chief Fire Warden is not present, they need to step up and complete that role, ensuring the safety of all personnel and that all other Fire Wardens follow the emergency protocols.
Floor or Area Wardens – Bright Yellow Helmet
The Area or Floor wardens wear a bright yellow helmet and often also a vest. They are charged with keeping a specific floor or area safe. They work in tandem with the Chief Fire Warden or Deputy Fire Wardens to ensure the safety of all personnel in their area or on their floor.
This includes evacuation procedures for their area or floor’s personnel and communicating with the Chief Fire Warden and following their instructions, such as ordering the evacuation of their floor if the emergency requires it.
They are also in charge of directing the other Wardens on the floor to look for hazards once it has been evacuated and to report to their Chief Fire Warden on the state of that floor or area, it’s personnel, the circumstances and emergency protocols followed.
Fire Wardens or Wardens – Red Helmet and Vest
While these guys are the last on the list, they actually hold a lot of direct responsibility for the safety of the workers and the facility.
Fire Wardens or when the emergency is not a fire, are just referred to as Wardens, wear a red helmet and often also a vest. They are directly responsible for leading smaller groups out through the evacuation routes, making sure the evacuation is orderly and all persons are accounted for. The Fire Wardens will need to assist any mobility impaired personnel and they also need to check that fire doors are closed to stop the fire spreading.
Fire wardens are trained and required to operate firefighting equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets and hoses if safe to do so during the event. They play a very important role in the event of an emergency or fire, and they help to keep everyone calm as they evacuate the building.
Fire wardens at every level need to undertake appropriate training. If you’re looking at getting your Fire Wardens trained up you can view our Fire Warden training course here or get in touch with us. We can guide you through which kind of training will be right for your workplace and employees.