Fire Warden Duties

Go to:


December 2012:
The fire alarm system functions as a single stage system that sounds the Evacuation Alarm in all wings when activated. The alarm sounds as a single repeating tone. 
Role of Floor Emergency Wardens:

The role of the Floor Emergency warden in our building is to:

  • ensure that all people in the area are aware that an alarm is in progress and that they should evacuate the building immediately
  • help direct people to an exit in an orderly manner
  • identify any areas in the building where people remain so fire fighters can rescue them if necessary

Before an alarm, every Floor Emergency Warden should become familiar with all the rooms in the wing for which they are responsible. Walk around and check all the doors including growth rooms and walk-in incubators/freezers.

Evacuation alarm: (LOUD single repeating tone):

  • wear your fluorescent vest and carry a pencil and record book to record notes during the evacuation.
  • proceed to clear your wing: check all doors and inform people to leave the building immediately. Advise them 'Do Not use elevator'. Close all doors (locked or unlocked) to slow the spread of fire.
  • if a room is locked, knock and yell to evacuate building
  • be sure to check all washrooms
  • get non-ambulatory people to a safe area (like a stairwell); have someone stay with the person if possible; report their location to the main panel as soon as possible.
  • don't argue with anyone who will not leave. Record their name/location and report to the Main Fire Panel as soon as possible
  • try and exit via your assigned door (see Fire Warden List)
  • report information about your floor/wing to the fire warden at the exit (or via radio if assigned).
  • wait until you receive the 'All Clear' over the intercom (from a runner or a radio). Make sure the all clear was authorized by the Fire Department, the U of A Fire Marshall or Campus Security.
Exit Door Procedures: top of page

The first fire warden reaching the exit is responsible for:

  • keeping everyone outside until the 'All clear' is received.
  • collecting and reporting information from fire wardens exiting via that door. You will need a paper and pencil to record information from people and all fire wardens should have this with their vest. You can print a table of the building floor checklist to mark cleared floors.

If there is a phone at your door, the second fire warden reaching that exit uses the phone to communicate with the Main Fire Panel. The Main fire panel is located at the Zoology/Psychology junction and the exit doors with fire phones are Genetics (East) and Botany/Microbiology (NorthEast). Use the radio you have been assigned to communicate with the Building Warden.

Any other fire wardens arriving at the exit assist the first two in guarding the door and communicating information to the Main panel.

Reporting to the Main panel: top of page

  • All information from each of the fire wardens should be conveyed to the Main Fire Panel either by a fire phone, radio or via a runner.
  • Phones are located at the Genetics-East exit and the Botany-Microbiology NorthEast exit but there are phones in every elevator lobby on all levels.
  • The phones can call in to the main panel and will be answered from there. After picking up the phone, wait for the Main panel to respond.
  • Advise the Main Panel every 3 minutes as long as you have anything new to report.
  • Be sure to report floors cleared as well as any problems.
  • If there is no phone or radio available, then send a runner around the building to an door with a phone to report the information from your exit.

Report immediately to the Main panel if anyone is reported to have stayed in the building.
If you cannot get through by phone, send a runner.

Re-entering the Building:

The call that it is safe to return inside is only made by the Fire Department at the Main Fire Panel at the North end of Zoo wing.

  • there is an announcement over the PA system (may not be heard if you are standing outside the building)
  • a call on the fire phone to the wardens stationed at BotMicro (NE) and Genetics (E)
  • a radio message is sent to wardens with a walkie-talkie
  • a Fire Warden goes to each door and tells the wardens stationed there that it is safe to re-enter
  • if you see people entering at the N door of Zoology, you can assume it is safe to re-enter

Do Not return inside because the alarm sound has been silenced since the Fire Fighters may still be investigating the source(s)
Do Not return inside because you see a Fire Fighter leaving the building: there may be another alarm visible at the panel

After hours Procedure:
there may not be a Chief Evacuation Warden at the main Fire Panel at the Zoo N exit so there may be no communications via radio or the red fire phones.

  • clear your usual wing and go to an exit.
  • send a runner around the building to the Zoo North exit to report anyone remaining in the building.
  • suggest that all evacuees walk outside to the Zoo North entrance as that will be the first door to allow people to reenter the building once the alarm has been investigated.
  • if there is more than one warden at an exit, they may walk around to make sure other building exits are covered by a warden to keep people outside.
  • ideally, you should remain at the exit to keep people out until the All Clear is announced on the PA system or the Fire Fighters drive away.

Other Notes: top of page

1. All fire wardens should be prepared to act as a door reporter: collect information and transmit it to the Main panel. Make sure you carry a pencil and paper with you. Make a copy of the building floor checklist.

2. Try to keep people away from the doorways so they don't impede the Fire fighters.

3. If you pick up a Fire phone, you will be answered by the Main panel (they control who to talk to so you may have to wait a few minutes).

4. A building evacuation may be called for reasons other than a fire (e.g. gas leak or bomb threat). Just because there does not appear to be a fire does not mean there is not a problem - LEAVE whenever the alarm is activated.