The Different Types of Wardens & How To Identify Them
When it comes to emergencies, it is imperative that any kind of facility has appointed individuals who will take charge and ensure the safety of occupants. To fulfill this demand, the Australian Standard (AS) 3745:2010 details the requirement for facilities to have appointed Wardens, each with their own respective duties, who increase the likelihood of safety for all occupants.
In this article we will run through the different kinds of Wardens, how they can be identified in an emergency, and the responsibilities which they are generally required to carry out.
There are 4 types of wardens, these include:
- Chief Warden
- Deputy Chief Warden
- Floor/Area Warden
Regardless of title all Wardens have a responsibility to:
- Improve and implement emergency response and control procedures
- Prevent emergencies wherever possible by regularly assessing the current condition of the workplace and its hazards
- Make other staff aware of the hazards in their building
- Control measures and manage procedures for any hazards in the building
- Lead emergency and evacuation training, including fire drills
- Know the location of all exits and evacuation routes within the facility
- Help in the event of an emergency
During an emergency, it is the primary role of the Chief Warden to act as the lead point of contact for all Wardens. Their responsibility is to manage all operations so that occupants exit an emergency safely. A Chief Warden must:
- Act as the final decision maker for emergency proceedings.
- Ensure that all emergency procedures are being followed.
- Notify Emergency Services immediately once an emergency has been identified.
- Initiate communication with the Floor and Deputy Wardens and instruct them on the course of actions to begin taking, including clearing floors and evacuating personnel.
- Liaise with Emergency Services personnel, remain in control of a facility and hand off control to Emergency Services personnel upon arrival at the facility.
The Chief Warden can be easily identified in an emergency from the white cap, helmet or vest that they are required to wear when an emergency breaks out.
The Deputy Warden is an important role, acting as insurance, that there is always a point of contact whether or not the Chief Warden is present.
The Deputy Chief Warden are required to assist the Chief Warden with higher level responsibilities as required. In the event the Chief Warden is not present in an emergency, the Deputy Warden(s) will take their place.
Deputy Wardens can be identified by the white Chief Warden cap, helmet or vest that they wear, similar to the Chief Warden.
Floor Wardens are responsible for the safety of an area or floor in their facility. Ensuring the safety of an entire floor is an extremely important task, with a few key responsibilities:
- Ordering the evacuation of occupants on the floor, if the emergency warrants it.
- Communicate with and follow orders from the Chief Warden.
- Direct wardens to check the floor for any hazards once it has been cleared of occupants.
- Advise the Chief Warden the circumstances of their floor and the emergency procedure actions taken.
Floor/Area Wardens can be identified by the bright yellow Floor Warden helmet, cap or vest that they are required to wear once an emergency is known about.
During emergencies, Fire Wardens (or simply Wardens during a non-fire emergency) are most responsible for occupants directly. Their responsibilities include:
- Checking to ensure that fire doors and smoke doors are properly closed, so that fires do not spread throughout a building.
- Search the floor to ensure all persons are accounted for before and during evacuation.
- Ensure orderly movement of occupants during evacuation of a site.
- Assist mobility impaired persons during evacuations.
- Act as leaders of smaller groups during building evacuations, so that occupants remain orderly amidst any panic.
- Operate first attack fire-fighting equipment including: portable fire extinguishers, hose reels & fire blankets.
Wardens are mostly easily identified by the red Warden cap, helmet or vest that they are required to wear once an emergency has become known to them.
As we have discovered, there is a clear and defined Warden structure that is ensured by AS3745:2010 in the event of an emergency. This structure allows for the safe evacuation of occupants and reduces panic that may result in an emergency.
Just as important are the identifier hats & caps that these Wardens are required to wear once an emergency has become known, ensuring all occupants know who is the authority to adhere to in an emergency.
You can browse our collection of licensed Warden hats & caps here to ensure that you have the required equipment in your facility to remain compliant with AS3745:2010.