If you work in the hospitality industry, it won’t come as a surprise that restaurants, cafes, and catering businesses are at high risk of fire. That’s because hot surfaces, open flames, and unattended cooking in the kitchen are close to other combustible materials.

So, what do you need to do, to protect your business and, most importantly, keep staff and customers safe from a life-threatening fire?  Here are 5 critical tips to make sure you’re doing everything you can to prevent a fire.

Have a fire prevention strategy

You must have a fire prevention strategy in your risk management plan. This strategy brings together information on fire prevention and reducing the risks of accidental fire and arson. It includes identifying problems, developing responses, and implementing treatments to ensure your workplace is a safer place. For example, it includes things such as scheduling regular fire drills.   At a minimum, every business should participate in one exercise every 12 months, more for businesses at higher risk of fire. For assistance in developing a fire prevention strategy, contact an experienced fire protection company or Fire and Rescue NSW.

Train your staff in fire safety and prevention

Make sure staff are up to date on fire safety and emergency evacuation procedures.  One way to do this is to invest in a fire and emergency training course. Training programs cover things such as how to respond to emergency situations, the use of a fire extinguisher, and fire evacuation procedures. Keeping you and your staff on top of emergency situations is critical, and several companies can provide training in New South Wales.

Prevent fire with routine cleaning and inspection

Maintain routine cleaning and inspection of kitchen range hoods, ducting, and grease fans. About 80% of food preparation companies hire contractors to maintain grease filters. Removal of combustible waste products must be included in your maintenance program, ensuring rubbish and recyclables are secured in appropriate containers with close-fitting lids. Ensure all cookers or fryers have thermostats fitted and are serviced and cleaned as recommended by manufacturers.

Use both active and passive fire protection

It may seem like active fire protection measures that detect heat, smoke, and flames might be enough to keep your business safe from fire. However, passive protection is also crucial to complete your fire safety system. Passive fire protection refers to systems that restrict flames from spreading into other parts of your building.   These include fire doors, firewalls, dampers, fire seals, and smoke doors.  Both active and passive fire protection must work together to keep your building safe. One type alone cannot reliably contain or limit the spread of flames.

Choose an experienced fire protection company

Don’t leave your fire safety in the hands of unqualified suppliers. Make sure your fire safety provider has the latest accreditation.  Industry and government bodies regularly change laws surrounding fire safety compliance, and it can be difficult to keep up, that’s why it’s important to entrust your fire and safety compliance to the right professionals.

Don’t do it alone

It can feel overwhelming to keep on top of fire safety, especially when you’re juggling the demands of working in the hospitality industry. You don’t have to do it alone. Have a chat with your fire safety provider or give Global Fire a call about your unique needs.  We can assist you in all aspects of fire protection.  Call us on 1300 88 70 18 or email inquiries@globalfire.com.au.