Toronto Metropolitan University’s fire wardens play an important role at the university and are primarily responsible for managing the evacuation of personnel from their designated area during a fire or other emergency.
Ensuring the personal safety of community members, including fire wardens, is the university’s top priority. In the event of a fire:
- Don’t enter areas containing smoke.
- Don’t enter areas where an established fire is clearly visible.
- If a closed door is encountered, feel it lightly with the back of your hand before opening it. If it is hot, don’t open it.
- Don’t ever place yourself at risk or feel responsible for putting out a fire.
Find your fire warden
There are approximately 200 designated fire wardens across the campus.
Find out who the designated fire warden, external link is for your area.
Training for fire wardens is provided by Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and is held once a year, lasting about two hours. Fire wardens in leased buildings receive their training from the building manager/operator.
Fire wardens are responsible for the following preventative measures and are expected to:
- Be familiar with the google docFire Warden Manual, external link and the university’s policies and guidelines on the Evacuation of University Buildings in the Event of Fire or Other Emergency.
- Be familiar with the emergency access routes in their building.
- Be familiar with the sound and sequence of the building’s fire alarm.
- Be familiar with personnel who may require assistance to evacuate and any plans in place to ensure their safety.
- Participate in fire drills.
- Ensure that a back-up fire warden has been selected and is advised when they are absent (e.g. due to meetings, illness, vacation) from the geographic zone.
- Ensure that evacuation routes are unobstructed.
- Check for fire hazards such as the accumulation of garbage, paper and other combustible items and improperly stored or combustible liquids.
- Ensure that floor exits are functional (i.e. open readily and close automatically). Doors must not be wedged open or locked in the direction of egress.
- Check that the exit lights are illuminated and not damaged.
- Ensure that a fire hose and extinguisher are present in each fire hose cabinet on the floor, and that the cabinets are not obstructed.
- Report hazardous conditions to the supervisor so that they can be addressed.
- Submit a google docFire Safety Checklist, external link at the start of the fall and winter terms.
Safe evacuation duties
Along with the preventative measures highlighted above, the primary responsibility of fire wardens is to manage the evacuation of personnel from their designated area during a fire or other emergency.
Fire wardens are required to follow these steps during evacuations:
- Wear their fire warden vest so they are easily identifiable to building occupants.
- Check washrooms and rest areas and advise occupants of the emergency situation.
- Guide all occupants within the designated area to evacuate by the nearest safe exit during a fire or other emergency.
- Stop use of elevators during an evacuation.
- Maintain an orderly and controlled evacuation.
- Assist in the evacuation of persons with disabilities.
- Close all doors as they leave the building.
- Ensure that the entrance to the building is not congested by directing persons away from the entrance.
- Cooperate with TMU Security and fire officials, and promptly follow any instructions they may receive from security or fire department personnel.
- Cooperate with TMU Security and the EHS unit in any debriefings resulting from an evacuation.
- Remain outside the building until informed by TMU Security or the fire department that it is safe to return.
- Within 72 hrs. of an evacuation, fill out the google formEvacuation Observation Form, external link.
The evacuation of university buildings during a simulated emergency is a necessary exercise to familiarize occupants with all means of exit from their usual workplaces. Fire wardens are expected to participate in fire drills. Here is an overview about these drills:
- Fire drills are held each fall semester in all TMU buildings.
- Notice of the proposed fire drills will be forwarded to fire wardens, deans, academic directors, chairs and senior directors in all buildings at least two weeks before the given date.
- The fire alarm bells will sound and the evacuation will proceed on the proposed drill date.
- Fire wardens, TMU Security and Facilities Management and Development will monitor the evacuation.
- Full participation of all members of the TMU community is mandatory. No person can be relieved of these drills by anyone other than designated emergency response personnel.
- During the drill, fire wardens are required to facilitate an emergency evacuation as in a real-life emergency.
- Following the drill, please complete and submit: