Floor Wardens should be appointed for each floor or zone of a building, to control the emergency procedures for their floor, generally as directed by the Chief Warden.
However, Floor Wardens have the authority to evacuate their floor or zone if they consider there is any danger to personnel in that zone.
Floor Wardens must be familiar with:
- the operation of the fire alarm system, the emergency warning system and any other equipment used to assist in the operation of emergency procedures for the building,,
- the floor or zone they represent, including
- all means of egress and alternative escape routes,
- the existence and positions of rooms leading off blind passages, doors leading to dead-ends and any other confined areas in which persons could be located,
- potentially hazardous materials or operations undertaken in their zone,
- the location and operation of fire doors, smoke doors, fire blankets, portable fire extinguishers and fire hoses on their floor or zone,
- the number and location of mobility-impaired persons on their floor or zone.
It is important that the Floor Warden or a Deputy Floor Warden be available for each floor or zone during periods of normal occupancy.
Wardens should be appointed to assist each Floor Warden on the basis of at least one Warden for each twenty persons employed on the floor or zone.
Floor Warden - Roles during an emergency
A Floor Warden, on becoming aware of an emergency, should implement the emergency procedures for their floor which should include the following actions:
- if the circumstances on their floor warrant it, order the evacuation of the occupants of their floor,
- communicate with the Chief Warden and act on his or her instructions,
- direct wardens to check the floor for any abnormal situation,
- advise the Chief Warden as soon as possible of the circumstances on their floor and of the action taken.
A Deputy Floor Warden shall assume the Floor Warden's responsibilities if the Floor Warden is absent, and otherwise assist as required by the Floor Warden.
In the event of an emergency, Wardens may be required to carry out a number of activities, including the following:
- check to ensure fire doors and smoke doors are properly closed,
- search floor to ensure all persons are accounted for,
- ensure orderly movement of occupants,
- assist mobility-impaired persons,
- act as leaders of groups during building evacuation,
- operate first attack fire-fighting equipment (portable fire extinguishers, hose reels, and fire blankets).