Fire Risk Assessments For Restaurant Businesses
September 22nd, 2023
Last updated: September 22nd, 2023
Fire safety is a critical concern for any business, but it holds particular importance in the restaurant industry. As a restaurant owner in the UK, it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of your customers, staff, and property. One essential step in achieving this is conducting a thorough Fire Risk Assessment (FRA). In this post, we’ll help you through the process of creating a comprehensive risk assessment for your restaurant business and highlight what should be covered.
If you need help, remember that Robinsons Facilities Services can provide fire risk assessments for your Yorkshire-based business, helping to ensure you are legally compliant.
Why Is a Fire Risk Assessment Necessary for Restaurants?
A Fire Risk Assessment is a legal requirement for all businesses in the UK under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. For restaurant owners, this assessment is especially crucial due to the presence of open flames, cooking equipment, and a high number of occupants. A well-executed FRA can help you identify potential fire hazards, implement preventive measures, and protect your business from legal consequences.
Step 1: Identify Fire Hazards
The first step in conducting a Fire Risk Assessment is identifying potential fire hazards within your restaurant. This includes:
Cooking Equipment: Assess the safety of your kitchen appliances, including stoves, ovens, and fryers. Ensure they are regularly maintained and free from grease buildup, and ensure that vents are cleaned and properly maintained. Restaurants have more equipment that can cause fires than most.
Electrical Equipment: Check all electrical appliances and wiring for damage or wear and tear. Overloaded power outlets can pose a significant risk.
Flammable Materials: Identify any flammable substances like cleaning products or paper towels. Store them safely away from heat sources.
Candles and Decorations: If your restaurant uses candles or decorative items, ensure they are placed away from flammable materials and have proper containment.
Smoking Areas: If you have designated smoking areas, ensure they are well-maintained and have proper disposal facilities for cigarette butts.
Step 2: Evaluate the Risk
Once you’ve identified potential hazards, assess the risk associated with each one.
Likelihood of Fire: How likely is a fire to occur? Some types of equipment may be more prone to fires than others.
Consequences: If a fire were to start, what would be the consequences? This includes potential harm to people, damage to property, and business disruption.
Occupancy: Evaluate the number of people in your restaurant at any given time. Ensure that fire exits are clearly marked and can accommodate the expected occupancy.
Step 3: Implement Preventive Measures
Based on your assessment, take steps to mitigate fire risks:
Fire Alarms and Detection Systems: Ensure you have functional fire alarms and detection systems in place, and test them regularly.
Fire Extinguishers and Suppression Systems: Provide adequate fire extinguishers and suppression systems in the kitchen and other high-risk areas.
Emergency Evacuation Plan: Create and communicate an emergency evacuation plan to your staff. Conduct regular drills.
Training: Train your staff in fire safety procedures, including how to use fire extinguishers and evacuate safely.
Maintenance: Regularly service and maintain all fire safety equipment and systems.
Step 4: Record and Review
Keep detailed records of your Fire Risk Assessment, including findings, actions taken, and dates of inspections. Review the assessment regularly, especially if you make significant changes to your restaurant equipment, layout or operations. This should be an evolving document based on what is happening in your business.
What Format Should Fire Risk Assessments Take?
There are fire risk assessment templates out there that usually have sections regarding the building itself (when it was built, etc.) and then the hazards in question. They may include subheadings and questions including:
Existing Control Measures
Are there any improvement recommendations?
Remedial Action Required
There is also a section to tick off equipment and whether it is periodically checked and tested, for instance a PAT test to ensure electronics aren’t a big risk.
Though fire risk assessments can exist in different formats, there is a lot of information that needs to be included and made clear. The document is something you may be responsible for, but you do not have to carry it out alone. Our fire risk assessment services allow you peace of mind, knowing that you have covered everything you need to.
Those who fail to provide a fire risk assessment could face up to two years in prison, and a hefty fine.
A well-executed Fire Risk Assessment is a fundamental aspect of ensuring the safety of your restaurant, your staff, and your customers. By identifying potential fire hazards, evaluating risks, implementing preventive measures, and maintaining a record of your assessment, you not only comply with legal requirements but also create a safer environment for your workplace.
Working across Yorkshire, we cover North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and South Yorkshire and offer a fast, efficient response time to all breakdowns and repairs. Contact us today for all planned, reactive maintenance or emergency call out. Call 01423 226578 or get in touch to see how Robinsons Facilities Services can help.