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Restaurant Fire Safety

Updated: Feb 9

The Importance of Restaurant Fire Safety

Fire safety is a vital necessity for restaurant owners as a fire is among the most serious damage a property can suffer with the potential for:

  • Losses in revenue

  • Permanent closure

  • Injured or even dead occupants

Here are some basic ways to protect your property from a fire.

Carry Out Regular Fire Risk Assessments

A fire risk assessment is intended to identify the specific fire safety issues your property faces, including the chances for a fire to break out and those who are most vulnerable. It is made up of five steps:

  1. Identify those most at risk

  2. Identify all fire hazards

  3. Evaluate the risk posed

  4. Record all findings

  5. Keep a monthly review and remember to record changes

The main benefit of a risk assessment is so you can know fully well what the problems are and prepare control measures (means to handle them). It'll help employees avoid fire hazards and help formulate an emergency plan.

Train your staff

Staff should always be given some emergency training skills including:

  • How to properly use a fire extinguisher

  • How to clean and remove grease from surfaces

  • How to remove fire hazards and reduce common fire risks

  • How to store chemical solutions properly

  • How to clean up chemical spills

  • How to remove the ash from wood and charcoal stoves

Preventative Maintenance and Automatic Fire Suppression System

One of the best means to ensure your restaurant is kept safe is via consistent preventative maintenance.

The City of London Fire Brigade estimates at least 25% of all restaurant fires it responds to are the result of faulty electrical appliances and cooking equipment. By implementing fire safety training and scheduling regular maintenance on electrical equipment this can be avoided, schedule regular maintenance of all your equipment.

It's important for consistent maintenance to be in place. Make sure all your exhaust systems are checked for grease build up, monthly inspections should be provided for those exhaust systems which are servicing any solid-fuel cooking equipment (i.e. ovens that burn wood or charcoal). Likewise, frayed wires or cords should always be looked out for - as should broken switch plates. In cases where these cannot be immediately repaired, any combustable materials should be kept away from these places.

Electrical fires can be seriously difficult to deal with but they're also some of the easiest to avoid with consistent preventative maintenance. The same can be said for kitchen fires involving grease, a grease fire can be avoided with proper maintenance.

Portable fire extinguishers - and training on how to use a fire extinguisher appropriately is also vital. It's important to have a variety of different fire extinguishers suited for electrical, gas, oil and paper fires.

One of the most important ways to keep your property safe is through the use of fire suppression systems. Suppression systems automatically dispense chemicals to smother the fire and handle fire emergencies caused by cooking equipment. When the system is activated, it will automatically shut down the fuel or electric supply for nearby cooking equipment - which can help to starve the fire of its fuel and be vital in fighting it.

Always Have an Emergency Plan

In the case a fire does break out, it is important your staff is trained to handle the situation and protect the safety of any customers and clients. It is especially vital to ensure at least one team member is trained how to turn off electrical power as well as gas power in an emergency situation.

Consistently conduct and drill your team in emergency skills and ensure new workers are trained in your existing evacuation methods. It is vital that any staff brought onto your premises are properly trained in the use of fire safety equipment - it is also vital that old staff members have a refresher course on their fire safety skills on a regular basis.

Install Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors

Fire alarms and smoke detectors are vital in the case that something does go wrong, people can be alerted to the fire breaking out and respond appropriately, it is a vital part of any emergency plan and can ensure your staff are alerted to any danger. Fire alarms and smoke detectors are also expected by a majority of insurance plans and properties found without them can be breaching the law.

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