Working in a restaurant setting has a lot of obstacles to overcome. There are plenty of routine inspections to handle on a daily, monthly and yearly basis.
A restaurant kitchen is fraught with safety hazards and staff need to make sure that there’s the right safety protocol in place to keep everything in order. This goes especially for fire safety. Kitchens are naturally going to be prone to fire safety issues and that’s why it’s necessary to have the right rules in place to avoid and prevent any accidents. Here are some easy tips you can follow to ensure your restaurant is following safety standards.
Performing a routine fire inspection is a must for any workplace, especially for restaurants. A restaurant setting can be unpredictable at times because equipment can fail or malfunction and potential accidents can happen.
The best course of action to combat this is to be as prepared as possible for any possible scenario. The first step to this is prevention, and this can be done through routine inspections. Check equipment to see if it’s properly set up and clean, and check that all fire safety equipment is up to date and in the right place.
Markel Insurance indicates these fire prevention tips when performing routine inspections:
“Schedule regular maintenance on electrical equipment, and watch for hazards like frayed cords or wiring, cracked or broken switch plates and combustible items near power sources.
Have your exhaust system inspected for grease buildup. The NFPA Fire Code calls for quarterly inspections of systems in high-volume cooking operations and semi-annual inspections in moderate-volume operations. Monthly inspections are required for exhaust systems serving solid-fuel cooking equipment, like wood or charcoal-burning ovens.”
All employees in a restaurant should be wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE). This means supplying all of your employees with the uniforms that will protect against burns, spills, cuts, and scrapes.
Working in a kitchen and near any sort of hardware with heat, water, or sharp objects, PPE goes hand-in-hand with giving employees the right training. If employees are fully trained on how to use hardware like a grill or stove, then they need to be equipped with the right PPE while they’re using it. This acts as a first line of defence against any potential accidents that could happen.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety points out that wearing the right PPE is important:
“It is also important to remember that wearing the right PPE is important. PPE does not reduce the workplace hazard nor does it guarantee permanent or total protection for the wearer. Simply having Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available is not enough.”
Your restaurant business should have its own set of safety rules in place. Once you do, it’s important to also check with the building safety rules as well.
Cross-reference these rules with your own business and see if there’s anything you may have missed. Often, restaurant buildings are rented by the business owners and naturally, not everyone is as familiar with the building. There may be certain rules and protocol in place already. Plus, when planning your evacuation plans, there could already be one outlined by the building manager.
The city of Red Deer, Alberta has a great document highlighting what fire safety protocol needs to take place in an emergency, and is a great example to follow in your own workspace. Here’s an example:
“A Fire Safety Plan shall include:
- a) The emergency procedures to be used in case of a fire, including
- Sounding of the fire alarm,
- Notifying of the fire department,
iii. Instructing occupants on procedures to be followed when the fire alarm sounds,
Evacuating occupants, including special provisions for persons requiring assistance,
Confining, controlling and extinguishing the fire.”