With open flames, hot equipment and cooking oils, there are a lot of potential causes of a fire in a restaurant. So it makes sense to ensure your business is ready with the correct fire-fighting equipment.
The short time you spend improving fire safety could save the lives of employees and customers, and keep your business open.
Consideration should be given to having a professional fire risk assessment completed. This will tell you exactly what your restaurant needs to keep everyone safe. After all, no two businesses are the same.
Detection and Warning
You should have a series of detectors throughout the premises.
Heat detectors are ideal for in the kitchen as fumes and steam will not set it off. Just ensure it is not placed above a heat source, as it detects extreme temperatures.
Placing smoke alarms elsewhere, such as where your customers eat, gives even better protection. You could also consider linking the detectors so that they all sound in unison if they detect a threat.
If you cannot create a wired link, then look at installing wireless detectors instead. Think about also having another way of raising the alarm, such as whistles, gas horns or a rotary fire bell, and a carbon monoxide detector will also be handy in case a gas appliance is faulty.
However, for the most reliable fire detection and warning system, best advice is to install a fire alarm system throughout your business premises.
You should think about having different types of fire extinguisher to cover all types of fire. For example, if you have a deep fat fryer, a wet chemical extinguisher is the safest way to put out that type of fire. Additonally, you’ll want to include a CO2 fire extinguisher for use on electrical equipment and a water or foam extinguisher for the everyday fire risks.
A fire blanket will also be an invaluable addition to your restaurant kitchen. These work on pan fires, and act as a quick way of putting out a fire without causing much disruption.
For quick action, all fire-fighting equipment should be easy and safe to access.
Further Safety Measures
Having emergency lighting means that everyone can see their way out, even if the power has gone off. With a three hour battery, it means they have plenty of time to make their exit.
Signage is also important for getting people out as safely as possible. Putting up emergency exit signs is a good way of making sure everyone knows where they need to go.
What Else Can You Do?
You need to have an emergency plan, and to make sure all staff know what this is.
Staff should also receive training on what to do in the event of a fire, and how to use fire-fighting equipment. This will enable them to act in a quick and safe manner, better protecting your diners too. By carrying out regular maintenance and cleaning, you’ll help to prevent a fire in the first place.
But remember: if you haven’t already, you need a professional fire risk assessment. This will look at the specific needs of your premises and business. It will then ensure you have fire-fighting equipment which meets your restaurant’s needs.