Restaurant safety is important for any restaurant owner. It should be an immediate priority as the consequence of a restaurant fire is unpleasant. You should always be thinking of your employees’ and customers’ safety. Thus, preparing the right kitchen safety measures and procedures will help you prevent such unfortunate accidents.
Restaurants can be more susceptible to fire and other injury risks than residential kitchens because they are generally busier than home kitchens.
To avoid a kitchen fire, it is important to behave in an appropriate manner while cooking. Below are specific ways which you can do to prevent kitchen fire.
Preventive Maintenance Procedures
- Install a fire suppression system in the kitchen. This one is important because as mentioned earlier, majority of the cause of restaurant fires is because of cooking equipment. This system can help supress flames by automatically dispensing chemicals. Always see to it that your fire suppression system is also well maintained. The fire suppression system installed in your restaurant is required to undergo inspection as part of your security measures. The NFPA standard requires system inspection at least twice a year.
- Have fire extinguishers in different areas of your restaurant. These portable fire fighting items can come in handy whenever a small fire starts and can still be controlled. You need a Type K extinguisher on hand near the grill or fryer to help put out cooking oil fires.
- Always have a regular maintenance of electrical wirings and equipment. Another cause of kitchen fires is the electrical wirings and equipment. Always check with your contractor for any fayed cords or electrical wiring, cracked or broken switch and other combustible electrical materials.
- Have your kitchen exhaust systems regularly inspected. NFPA-96 Standard calls for a regular inspection of the kitchen exhaust systems installed in commercial kitchens. This can be done monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually depending on the classification of the business. It is done to prevent grease build-up which can also cause fire in the kitchen.
Proper Staff Training Procedures
- Train your staff to be familiar and to use fire extinguishers. It is better to stop a small fire before it burns up the whole establishment. Conduct trainings and seminars on the proper use of fire extinguishers as these can be of great help when an emergency arises.
- Always inform your staff to clean the kitchen equipment regularly. This is done to prevent any build-up of grease in your kitchen equipment.
- Inform your staff of proper disposal of cigarettes. Tell them also not to smoke near storage areas and make sure that cigarettes are out before disposing them in trash bins.
- Handle chemicals properly. This goes especially to fire igniting chemicals. Always place them in well ventilated areas and keep them away from supplies, food supplies or any source of flames.
- When cooking items involving grease or oil, inform the cook to never leave the stove unattended.
- Wear the proper kitchen attire whenever you do your specific jobs in the kitchen.