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Restaurant Fire Hazards to Be Aware Of

December 29th, 2023

Last updated: January 2nd, 2024

In the fast-paced world of restaurants, the risk of fire hazards is ever-present, and something everybody needs to be aware of. The bustling kitchens, sizzling grills, and intricate other equipment create an environment where fires can erupt. This is one of the reasons why there are so many different laws and regulations regarding restaurant fire safety.

Did you know that there are around 700,000 fire service incidents attended in the UK every year, on average?

In this article, we will delve into the most common restaurant fire hazards and provide practical tips on how to avoid these potential disasters.

Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Commercial kitchen equipment, such as ovens, grills, and fryers, poses a significant fire hazard due to the high temperatures involved in cooking processes and the potential for things to go wrong. Malfunctioning or improperly maintained equipment can lead to fires that spread rapidly, especially if flammable substances are nearby.

Tip: Regularly inspect and maintain kitchen equipment. Ensure that all appliances are installed correctly, and schedule professional maintenance and appliance testing to address any issues promptly.

Grease Buildup

The accumulation of grease and oil in kitchen extraction systems and hoods is a notorious fire hazard. Grease, when exposed to high temperatures, can ignite and cause a ferocious fire that is challenging to control.

Tip: Implement a routine cleaning schedule for kitchen exhaust systems and hoods. Regularly remove grease buildup to prevent the risk of ignition.

Electrical Issues

Faulty wiring, overloaded sockets, and damaged electrical equipment are common culprits for restaurant fires. In a busy kitchen where various appliances and gadgets are in use simultaneously, electrical issues can quickly escalate.

Tip: Conduct regular electrical inspections such as PAT testing and address any issues immediately. Avoid overloading sockets and invest in high-quality, commercial-grade electrical equipment.

Open Flames and Flammable Liquids

Open flames from stovetops and grills in restaurant kitchens can lead to fires, especially when combined with flammable liquids commonly found in kitchens. Accidental spills or splatters can ignite quickly.

Tip: Minimise the use of open flames where possible, and ensure that you have covered this area in detail in your Fire Risk Assessment. Keep flammable liquids stored safely, away from heat sources. Train staff to ensure they know how to deal with open flames and flammable liquids.

Unfit or Poorly-Maintained Fire Suppression Systems

Fire suppression systems, including sprinklers and fire extinguishers, are vital for containing and extinguishing fires. Neglecting regular inspections, maintenance, or having faulty suppression systems can result in their failure during a critical moment.

Tip: Schedule routine inspections and maintenance for fire suppression systems. Ensure that staff is trained on the proper use of fire extinguishers and that extinguishers are easily accessible throughout the kitchen and restaurant.

Poorly Maintained Gas Lines and Equipment

A lot of gas-powered equipment in restaurants, such as stoves and water heaters, relies on gas lines. Leaks or malfunctions in gas lines can lead to gas buildup, creating an explosive atmosphere with the potential for a catastrophic fire.

Tip: Regularly inspect gas lines for leaks and signs of wear, and get Gas Safe professionals to regularly inspect your kitchen. If a gas leak is suspected, evacuate the premises immediately and contact the gas company for professional assistance.

Inadequate Training for Staff

A lack of proper training for restaurant staff on fire safety protocols and a fire risk assessment, emergency procedures, and the proper use of firefighting equipment can contribute to the escalation of a fire.

Tip: Conduct regular fire safety training sessions for all staff members. Ensure they know the location of fire exits, how to use fire extinguishers and alarms, and the importance of reporting potential fire hazards.

Conclusion

Preventing restaurant and commercial kitchen fires requires a comprehensive approach that addresses various potential hazards. From the bustling kitchen to the dining area, every aspect of a restaurant must be scrutinised to minimise the risk of fires. Regular maintenance, thorough training, and a commitment to fire safety protocols are essential components of a successful fire prevention strategy.

By proactively identifying and mitigating common fire hazards, restaurant owners and managers can create a safer environment for both customers and staff. It is crucial to instill a culture of safety, where everyone in the establishment is vigilant and well-prepared to respond effectively in the event of a fire emergency.

When you choose Robinsons Facilities Services to maintain and repair your fire protection equipment, our experienced engineers are here to ensure peace of mind for your business. We cover all of Yorkshire and will attend your premises as quickly as possible in the event of any safety concerns.

Get in touch with us today or book a free site survey to discuss fire protection services.

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