Chefs working in kitchen in restaurant - Fire

Personal Safety in a Restaurant

A key part of training your employees is showing them how to use your kitchen equipment properly. Refer to the following checklist to ensure that misused or faulty equipment doesn’t cause an emergency in your kitchen.

  • Do regular monthly Health and safety checks. Health and Safety are important because it protects the well being of employers, visitors, and customers. Looking after Health and Safety makes good business sense. Workplaces that neglect health and safety risk prosecution, may lose staff and may increase costs, and reduce profitability.
  • Ensure that all equipment is used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep electrical appliances away from wet areas, and check their cords for damage regularly. 
  • If there are cracks, frays, or other signs of wear or damage, stop using the appliance immediately until you can fix, repair or replace it.
  • Have your appliances regularly serviced, and inspected by a professional. 
  • Do not attempt to repair broken appliances by yourself.
  • Practice Restaurant Fire Safety

Implement regular training sessions with your staff to ensure they understand the application of the different extinguishers for their types of fire threats.

There are other important measures to take when it comes to restaurant fire safety. Here are some steps you can take to prevent fires in your kitchen.

Inspect and maintain all Fire Safety Equipment Monthly

  • Have multiple fire extinguishers in your restaurant, and do not put them in your kitchen only. 
  • Ensure that the fire extinguishers are serviced regularly and dated yearly after the service. Ensure to have dry powder, foam, and CO2 extinguishers for the different fire hazard applications and that these are placed accordingly.
  • Ensure that all emergency lights and exit signs throughout your hospitality space are working.
  • Invest in equipment with fire suppression systems. When activated, these units can switch off the fuel supply and dispense substances that help to extinguish flames. In some cases, chemicals are automatically dispensed and others have manual switches.
  • Implement and practice Fire Safety Procedures regularly. Keep flammable objects away from open flames. 
  • Practice suffocating and how to extinguish a grease fire. Do not use water. Cover the flames with a metal lid and turn off the heat source. Use a fire extinguisher if the fire persists.
  • Know how to use a fire extinguisher. After use always replace or service your extinguisher when it is low on fuel.
  • Implement an evacuation plan. 
  • Keep this plan where everyone can see it, and practice the evacuation process bi-annually.

Know how to switch off your energy resources. Teach your staff how to turn off gas and/or electrical power in the case of an emergency.

Prevent Common Restaurant Injuries

  • Practice work safety rules, they are suggested for a reason.
  • Lacerations and Punctures. With knives, slicers, and the occasional broken glass, restaurant employees are at risk for cuts constantly. Provide your employees with cut-resistant gloves for extra precaution. Broken glass should always be handled with a broom and protective gloves.
  • Burns. Always wear oven mitts or use potholders to handle heated cookware to avoid the most common burn injuries.
  • Sprains and Strains. Keep commonly used items in easy-to-reach places. Repeated bending and twisting is not good for joints, so try to keep many of your tools at arm’s length or close to it. Educate your employees on safe lifting techniques to avoid back injury when moving equipment or bulk ingredients.
  • Ensure that all spills are attended to as soon as possible and clearly mark wet floors in all areas of your restaurant.
  • During cooking or cleaning, staff members’ eyes are vulnerable to splashes, especially sanitizing chemicals, and ingredients. Wear protective safety glasses when using chemicals or cleaning up broken glass.
  • Provide Your Employees with Safety Equipment. 
  • Bend your knees before lifting. Lift with your legs, not with your back. Call for help to lift or move heavy pots or containers.

When in doubt call for help!

Marius Joubert
Author: Marius Joubert

Founder of the first true community for the restaurant and hospitality industry.

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