Simple fire safety tips for restaurant owners

On top of juggling the day-to-day demands of running a successful restaurant, fire safety is likely the last thing on your mind. But as every experienced restaurateur knows, implementing sufficient fire safety practices is paramount to the on-going safety compliance of your restaurant, and could help to prevent injury, as well as serious costs and disruption to your business.

To help small food business owners comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, here are a selection of simple fire safety tips for restaurant owners.

Carry Out Regular Fire Risk Assessments

A fire risk assessment differs from a standard risk assessment in that it specifically identifies the risks of a fire breaking out on the premises — yet many restaurants do not carry out a dedicated risk assessment for fires. If you’re yet to carry out a fire risk assessment, you must do so as quickly as possible in accordance with the aforementioned fire safety reform act.

When carrying out a fire risk assessment, follow this simple five-step process:

• Step 1 — Identify those at risk
• Step 2 — Identify fire hazards
• Step 3 — Evaluate risk
• Step 4 — Keep a record of your findings
• Step 5 — Review monthly, and keep a record of any changes

Keep Cooking Equipment Clean and Maintained

There are innumerable reasons why it’s important to keep cooking equipment clean and well maintained in a professional kitchen, and fire safety is one of them. Failure to keep components like extraction ducts and cooker hoods clean and in full working order will increase the risk of fire due to poor ventilation, and could work to rapidly spread the fire. Make sure that fats, grease and dust are removed from cooking equipment after each use, as such dirt can be flammable, and always remember to clean the extraction ducts as neglecting to do so could invalidate your building’s insurance policy.

Follow Basic Fire Safety Rules

No matter what the business — be it a toy shop or a la carte restaurant — there are a few fire safety rules which most commercial business premises share. Here we cover a few of the basic fire safety rules which help to reduce the risk of fire:

• Don’t wedge open fire doors — they only work when they’re closed
• Fit an advanced fire alarm to provide early warning of fire
• Keep fire escape routes free from obstructions
• Provide a safe route to the round level (if the premises is above ground)

Choose a Designated Fire Marshal

To share the responsibilities of fire safety with your staff, always designate a responsible employee to fulfil fire marshal duties. Fire marshals are responsible for the swift evacuation of all members of staff in the event of a fire alarm, and should attain a basic qualification in fire safety to ensure they’re suitable for the demands of the position.

If your business needs help to implement and maintain fire safety regulations, Shieldyourself can help. Our expert team are equipped with the knowledge and experience to provide a comprehensive fire safety service for your business, including full assessments and auditing. To find out more, visit the Shieldyourself website or call us on 020 3797 2938.

The information contained in this blog article has been created for marketing purposes and is not official guidance and should not be used as a substitute for official food safety, health and safety or fire safety advice. Shieldyourself take no responsibility if the information in the blog article is used to form part of a safety management system or used to form part of any legal or regulatory compliance for your business. For official guidance and to engage with Shieldyourself services please do call our team on 020 3740 3744 or email

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Mark Flanagan

Blogs, Fire Safety

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