One of the most common threats that businesses face is the risk of a fire outbreak. You can limit the likelihood of this risk by conducting frequent fire risk assessments. This article discusses the five steps that you should follow during that assessment in your restaurant.
1. Identify Fire Hazards
Here, your job is to identify all possible ways through which a fire can start in your restaurant. For instance, boiling food may spill onto a frayed electrical cable, starting an electrical fire. An appliance such as a dishwasher may overheat due to prolonged use. The machine can end up bursting into flames. Take note of any factor that may cause an explosive mix of the three ingredients of a fire (fuel, heat and oxygen).
2. Outline the People at Risk
Identify the people who are likely to be at risk if the fire hazards that you have identified eventually result in a fire outbreak. The people at risk may include your kitchen staff and the guests who are dining at your establishment.
3. Assess the Risks and Take Preventive Actions
Use the information that you have gathered in the first two steps above to take actions that will reduce the likelihood of a fire outbreak. Your actions should also be geared at limiting the extent of the damage that results when a fire breaks out. For instance, you can install firefighting equipment such as fire extinguishers within the risk zones (such as the kitchen). You can also install signs to guide people during a fire emergency. For instance, you can pin up signs showing the escape routes that guests can use in case a fire breaks out. Such signs will get everyone to safety quickly.
4. Make Records and Conduct Training
Document the risk factors, the people at risk, and your actions to reduce the fire risk at your restaurant. Those records will help you to plan how to train all your workers so that they can know what to do to prevent a fire outbreak. The training should also equip the employees with the skills needed to limit the effects of a fire. For instance, you can include evacuation procedures in that training session.
5. Review the Risk Assessment
Fire threats keep evolving. For instance, you may have installed more equipment within your commercial kitchen. Such equipment may have reduced accessibility to the firefighting equipment installed earlier. The review process helps you to make the necessary changes so that your fire safety plan remains relevant.
Remember that fire safety is your responsibility as a business owner. Contact the relevant people (such as the fire department in your area, or fire equipment suppliers) for advice on how to make your business safe from fire outbreaks.