Evacuations need to be carried out quickly and efficiently, to ensure everyone in the building reaches safety within good time. In the case of a fire, alarms will be ringing, smoke will be reducing visibility, and a sense of fear spreading throughout the building.

The only thing on people’s minds will be their quickest means of escape. The presence of fire marshals is imperative in maintaining order during emergencies and helping to carry out the evacuation procedure in as short a time as possible. Research has shown that occupants react quicker when the evacuation is supported by authority figures who give good verbal instructions.

To enhance the effectiveness of the evacuation procedure, fire marshals need to be clearly visible and easily identifiable. In the case of a potentially life-threatening situation, occupants need to know who to look for to lead them out of the building safely. Fire marshal needs to be easily identifiable in an emergency, as they are responsible for ensuring a quick and efficient evacuation.

Wearing a high visibility jerkin will ensure the responsible person is easily seen within crowds of people. Even if vision is reduced by the build-up of smoke, the responsible person still needs to be identifiable. The high-visibility jerkins are a standardized symbol for the authority figure. This means occupants will ultimately look to the authority figure as someone whose instructions can be trusted.

With accurate guidance given by the responsible person, a successful evacuation can be carried out. It is not only the occupants of the building who need to be able to recognize the fire marshal, it is also imperative that the local authorities are able to distinguish the authority figure. It is the responsibility of the fire marshal to ensure the building is completely clear, and that the local authorities know who to look for when they arrive on the scene.

The emergency services will look to the authority figure to provide any information needed. In the event of a fire, the authority figure needs to give evacuees the reassurance that the instructions they give can be trusted and carried out in full confidence.

The responsibility of the authority figure is to influence occupants and thus lead a quick and effective evacuation. Trusting the responsible person to give clear and concise instructions is imperative in leading a safe evacuation.