Even if you have taken every precaution necessary for minimizing fire hazards in your restaurant, you should still be prepared for the unexpected. Restaurant fire safety is important for everyone who goes in and out of the building – including owners, employees, and patrons.
All employees should be trained on how to both prevent and extinguish a grease fire. Below are the fire prevention guidelines given by the National Restaurant Association.
- Install an automatic fire-suppression system in the kitchen.
- These systems have an easy-to-use manual switch that releases fire-suppressing chemicals and should be inspected twice a year.
- Keep portable fire extinguishers around the kitchen.
- Class K extinguishers are used for grease fires, but Class ABC extinguishers should also be kept for other types of kitchen fires (electric, wood, etc.)
- Schedule regular maintenance of electrical equipment.
- Frayed wiring and broken switch plates are hard to spot.
- Have your exhaust system cleaned regularly.
- Locate a trained, qualified, and certified IKECA kitchen exhaust cleaner today.
Train Staff to:
- Find and use a fire extinguisher.
- Use the acronym PAST (pull out the pin, aim at the base, make a sweeping motion, (be) ten feet away).
- Clean up the grease.
- Keep exhaust hoods, walls, and work surfaces clear.
- Never throw water on a grease fire.
- Water will cause the fire to expand into a full-on explosion.
- Make sure that cigarettes are put out before being thrown away.
- And never smoke near storage areas
- Store flammable liquids properly.
- Store containers in well-ventilated areas away from food-preparation areas.
- Use chemical solutions correctly.
- Never mix chemicals unless the directions say to do so. Promptly clean up any spills.
- Have an emergency plan.
- Have a set plan in place for the steps your staff should take in a fire emergency and how customers will be safely led out of the building.
- Be prepared to power down.
- Make sure that at least one employee per shift knows how to shut off gas and electricity.
- Have an evacuation plan.
- Designate one employee as the evacuation manager who is in charge of calling 911 and guiding the evacuation plan
- Know where the emergency exits are located.
- Everyone should know the closest exits to their immediate location. Keep in mind that the front door is also an emergency exit.
Be sure to offer additional emergency training courses to staff in order to make sure that everyone working at your restaurant is prepared for a sudden grease fire.
Always remember that the very first thing to do in the event of a fire emergency is to call 911.