ExecutiveChronicles | Keeping Your Restaurant Fire Safe | Restaurants are often busy environments and commercial kitchens busier still. There is a lot of activity going on inside a restaurant kitchen, much of it involving cooking. This naturally presents an increased hazard, with the potential for something catching on fire much greater than in some other work environments.
Fire safety is about fire prevention as much as anything else but if a fire does happen to break out, you’ll need systems and equipment in place to prevent a catastrophe. Professional fire protection services can help greatly with this and fire protection services will be able to guide you every step of the way in keeping your restaurant fire safe.
With fire protection services being your number one resource when it comes to fire safety, let’s also take a look at what you can do and what you need for a fire-safe restaurant environment.
All Employees Need Training In Fire Safety
One of the most proactive things a restaurant owner can do is to arrange fire safety training for all employees. Training could end up proving the difference between life and death in the event a fire breaks out.
Fire safety training involves learning what to do and what not to do during a fire. It also covers sound advice on how to prevent fires in the first place. Evacuation procedures will also form part of fire safety training.
Another thing that is covered is the use of equipment, such as how to operate a fire extinguisher and choosing the right extinguisher depending on the type of fire.
Your Restaurant Needs the Correct Fire Extinguishers
The fire extinguishers you have located in the public area of the restaurant will usually be Class A fire extinguishers, used for standard wood, paper and fabric fires. However, inside a commercial kitchen, the environment is different.
For example, Class F fire extinguishers are used for putting out cooking fires, where fats and oils have caught alight. If your commercial kitchen operates on gas, then you’re also going to need a Class C fire extinguisher for flammable gas fires.
As mentioned in the above section, all employees need to be trained on fire extinguisher use and, just as importantly, how to choose the correct fire extinguisher for each type of fire.
Fire Blankets In Restaurant Kitchens Are a Must
It can be quite common for something like a frying pan to catch on fire in a restaurant kitchen. For small fires like these, you don’t necessarily want to douse the kitchen and the food with a fire extinguisher. This is where a fire blanket comes in very handy. The blanket can be placed on top of the burning pan, rapidly extinguishing the flames without leaving behind any mess.
Fire Sprinkler Systems
Restaurants, like most buildings, should be fitted with a fire sprinkler system. The setup in the kitchen will usually be different from the rest of the restaurant due to it being a cooking environment with the potential for a different type of fire.
Your fire protection expert will be able to advise you on which sprinkler systems to have installed.
Fire Alarms Save Lives
No fire safety system would be complete without the installation of fire alarms. Alarms work as an early warning system, giving people time to evacuate the place before it is engulfed in flames.
Emergency Exit Lights
Illuminated emergency exit lights should be positioned above each exit to the outside world. In the event of a fire and a restaurant filled with dense smoke, these illuminated signs guide the way to safety.
Other Restaurant Fire Safety Tips
Ensure all ovens, cooktops, appliances and gas in the kitchen have been turned off before closing up the restaurant each evening. Rubbish should be collected and removed from the premises before the end of each shift to minimise any potential fuel for a fire. Kitchens should also be thoroughly cleaned of all fats and oils at the end of the evening for both hygiene and fire safety.
Restaurants can be fire hazard if staff are not properly trained in fire safety. What’s more if you don’t have the necessary equipment in place to combat a fire if one ever broke out, this is also a danger to staff and patrons. Talk to a fire safety expert and get your restaurant as firesafe as it can be.
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