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Safety SuperStars – Who and What exactly are Fire Safety Officers
by Leigh Harris

Fire Safety Officers are essential to the process of Fire Safety Compliance. They have a number of different roles, and have good overall knowledge of procedures and equipment, allowing them to give sound advice to building owners, managers and tenants. They have to meet very clear requirements before they can provide this advice.

What can they do?

These officers often manage the fire safety documentation for a building. They are also often responsible for:

It is essential that the signage and materials produced for emergency evacuation are undertaken by a qualified professional.

What does it take to become a qualified Fire Safety Officer?

A Fire Safety Officer must get and maintain eight different units of competency, each with their own complexities. These units equip them with the technical knowledge to be able to give current advice about fire safety.

These qualifications should ideally be paired with clear evidence of experience in the industry.

Some of the significant areas of competency are as follows:

Identify, Prevent & Report

The Fire Safety Officer must be able to:

  • Recognise which circumstances are emergencies.
  • Quickly identify the best way to deal with each kind of emergency.
  • Communicate efficiently and clearly regarding different kinds of emergencies, especially regarding compromised equipment.


This is a cornerstone of the Fire Safety Officer’s role, especially in workplaces with hazards.

  • To be effective, a Fire Safety officer must know what actions to take before a disaster has happened. This can significantly reduce the likelihood of an emergency happening, as well as reducing the chance of damages or injury should occur in the case of an unpreventable emergency situation.

  • The Fire Safety officer must make sure that the workers are following the preventative methods and processes.


We’ve all heard stories of machines that have been switched on while someone is operating on them. These accidents are often horrific and could be easily prevented with some careful planning and the strict enforcement of procedure.

Equipment & Resources

There are a lot of rules and regulations surrounding emergency resources. It is therefore important for the Fire Safety Officer to have an understanding of the equipment and devices that will be used in an emergency or that are used as preventative means.

  • The equipment must be labelled accurately, spread around the workplace, and be clearly documented.
  • The Fire Safety Officer should also have a working knowledge of things like fire/smoke alarms, suppression systems, equipment used to escape or force entry, as well as things like first-aid kits.

Responding to Emergencies

The Fire Safety Officer needs to know the correct reaction for each emergency situation, for example identifying when to instruct evacuation. There are a lot of different responses to emergencies, and each are appropriate in different scenarios.

This information is just some of the technical knowledge Fire Safety Officers have to offer.