Restaurants, cafes, and other food establishments are responsible for ensuring that the risk of outbreak of fire in their premises is low. They are also responsible for protecting employees and customers should an outbreak occur. Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 all pubs, clubs, and restaurants, along with other businesses, must ‘take reasonable steps to reduce the risk from fire and make sure people can safely escape if there is a fire.’ These steps include completing a risk assessment, identify risks and record findings and reducing or removing the risk of fire as far as reasonably possible.
Should the fire service inspect your premises and find it to be poorly protected from fire, then you could find yourself facing legal enforcement or even see your business be shut down, temporarily or permanently. If taken to court, you could find yourself having to pay a considerable fine, or spending time in prison.
Fire safety Do you know who is responsible?
A Clear Evacuation Procedure
A restaurant needs to have a clear evacuation procedure that includes how both staff and customers will leave the premises in event of fire. There should be multiple evacuation routes to allow for all occupying the premises are able to leave safely. In order to avoid harm to customers, all employees should be clear about their responsibilities and evacuation duties and undergo regular training.
Fire Doors and Curtains
Kitchen and food preparation areas should be able to be separated from the rest of the premises with fire doors and curtains or shutters, as these will help prevent or delay the spread of a kitchen fire. A standard door is not suitable as it will not prevent the spread of fire. If making use of a serving hatch, ensure that this can be shut off by installing a fire curtain or shutter.
Push Points, Alarms, and Emergency Lighting
Not only should your restaurant have fire alarms installed in every room, it should also have working push points and emergency lighting. A push point installed in the kitchen, storage rooms, and dining area allows for anyone who notices a fire before the detectors can trigger the alarm and start evacuation procedures. Should the fire cause an electricity outage, then emergency lighting will allow evacuation routes and emergency exits to be seen, followed, and used.
Secure your property
Ensure that your property is fully protected with a fire safety procedure that will keep you, your staff,
your customers and even your property safe from the risks of fire.