As fire and security alarm specialists with experience of carrying out the installation and maintenance of fire alarm systems for restaurants Tecserv UK offers its top tips for fire safety.
Our advice is based on our experience of working for hotels such as the Ritz and Bulgari hotel in London that have in-house restaurants, companies that have catering facilities for staff and retailers like Harvey Nichols who offer restaurant and café dining as part of their store experience.
Fire procedures: There will probably be a team of fire wardens and persons responsible for fire safety, so it’s important to ensure a record is kept of who is in actually responsible at all times to ensure there are no gaps in responsibility. It’s important that staff know who their fire warden is, that they fully understand the fire drill and that it is practiced regularly.
Fire equipment: The person or persons responsible for fire safety should ensure the restaurant fire alarm system, smoke detectors and other fire equipment such as sprinklers and fire extinguishers and fire blankets are regularly maintained. Make sure you know where this equipment is located – particularly where the ‘break glass’ in case of fire emergency call points are located. The quicker the fire alarm is sounded the greater chance everyone has of being evacuated to safety.
Evacuation routes and fire exits: In a restaurant that has a regular flow of deliveries from suppliers, it can be tempting to unload leave boxes and crates and leave them in an area that is part of a fire exit route. Don’t be afraid to report the obstruction to your fire warden. Make sure you know where your nearest fire exit routes are and the safest route to your fire assembly point – especially if you are on an upper floor – and never use the lift.
Fire drills: Understand the audible and non-audible alarms your fire detectors will emit and the ensure you have been involved in a fire drill so that you know what to do in the event of a fire and can get to safety.
Maintain and test: A regime of periodic fire alarm maintenance is a legal requirement to ensure compliance with fire safety regulations. To create a good safety culture, regular tests of the fire safety systems and equipment should be implemented and recorded. Do not be afraid to question if you think this is not occurring.
Smoking: If your restaurant has a designated smoking area, be vigilant and ensure all cigarettes are completely extinguished and butt-ends placed in a suitable receptacle.
Mobile devices: Many staff and restaurant users will bring their own mobile phone and other electronic devices into the restaurant. Encourage best practice by providing PAT tested charging points and asking people to never leave devices charging whilst unattended.
Be alert: It’s easy to think someone else will deal with it – if you see something that may compromise fire safety – even if it is not directly related to your area – report it to your fire safety officer. Building works or other disruptions to roads and other premises around your school may have a knock-on effect. Don’t be afraid to mention it to your fire warden – better to be safe than sorry!
When a fire breaks out a fast and trained response from those immediately involved can make such a difference. The speed at which the fire alarm sounds and the fire service called can save lives and limit damage.
Only use a fire extinguisher if it is safe to do so in order to aid your speedy exit from the building – the number one responsibility of a responsible individual or fire warden to get you, your customers evacuated to safety in a controlled and organised manner.
If you would like to know who we can help protect your restaurant with fire alarms, intruder alarms, access control systems and CCTV surveillance equipment, please complete the enquiry form below.
Mark has spent his working career in the fire alarm industry, in which he is highly respected by his colleagues and competitors alike. Mark often provides technical support to other fire alarm companies and even alarm equipment manufacturers. He also uses his experience to train engineering personnel.