Fire Safety for Commercial Kitchens

Fire Safety for Commercial Kitchens

Liz

How prepared are you for fire risks in your commercial kitchen? Most of us want to think that it won’t happen in our kitchen, however, fires in commercial kitchens can cause devasting and costly losses for a business.

In addition to meeting WHS compliance in your state or territory and industry, you also need to provide updated staff training and carry out regular preventative maintenance. Let’s look at several main topics that you can keep your kitchen as safe as possible.

What and where are the hazards?

Being a commercial kitchen, hazards are everywhere and you should carefully examine every area where a potential fire hazard or risk might exist. This includes checking all appliances such as deep fryers, hot grills, stoves, and ranges due to the heating elements being a risk of fire. However, don’t forget that hazards could also present from seemingly unnoticeable areas such as shelving and how stock is stored, consider also whether over storage could cause fires to spread should they occur.

This also requires your staff to complete fire safety training so that they are aware of what flammable items are in the kitchen, how to operate a fire extinguisher, as well as using appliances appropriately such as heating oil slowly in a fryer and avoid putting frozen foods into hot oils.

What if there’s a fire?

Another crucial element to fire safety is to have an emergency exit plan displayed and in place. This is so that all staff and patrons can be evacuated promptly and safely should a fire occurs. How many exits are there in your kitchen and restaurant? Are staff familiar with the locations and can the exits be reached and accessed easily? Are there any boxes or debris blocking the doors? These are all important factors when it comes to an emergency.

There should be a procedure in place with fire drill practices regularly for all staff. Generally, the steps to a safe evacuation involves the following:

  • Evacuate all guests
  • If safe, help others to exit the building
  • If safe, activate the fire suppression system or fire extinguisher
  • Notify the emergency services and fire department immediately by dialing 000
  • Ensure all staff and guests are accounted for at the assembly point

Minimising fire risks with a well-designed kitchen

As mentioned, the location of fire exits, storage and layout, as well as commercial catering equipment can play a key role in fire safety. When it comes to designing your commercial kitchen, it is important to keep the risk of fire in mind.

Ensure that you have clear signage on all exits, and that they are easily accessible and distributed throughout the restaurant. Storage should not be near exits or high temperature equipment, and flammables must be handled appropriately in a separate location away from other hazards. Commercial cooking equipment should be of high quality that meets strict safety standards, and all electricals must be maintained and service regularly.

ACE Catering Equipment provides more than just high grade, commercial kitchen appliances and equipment. With over 40 years of industry experience, we are also highly knowledgeable in areas of commercial kitchen layout and design, ensuring that all aspects meet fire and safety requirements.

Get in touch for all your commercial kitchen needs today.