The term restaurant covers a range of different eateries, from fast food chains to award winning Michelin-starred establishments, workplace canteens, cafes, bars and university refectories.
A restaurant establishment is usually divided into two principle areas, the dining room and the kitchen – and each has its own unique set of fire risks which must be controlled.
The law requires restaurant owners and managers to take steps to protect the people using the premises from fire. This means carrying out a thorough fire risk assessment to ensure the right type of fire alarm and equipment is installed and maintained.
It also means having a wider awareness of the business activities in adjacent buildings as a fire in a restaurant could prove very damaging and costly. It is crucial that reliable and effective systems and processes are in place.
The main risks that will present a fire risk in the dining/bar area include combustible materials such as the décor, decorations and furnishing. Candles or open fires may be used to create a romantic ambience, and faults with electrical equipment such as beer pumps and fridges could cause a fire.
In the kitchen area, open flame cooking, faulty electrical appliances and cooking fat fires or build-up of grease can create fire risks.
The main challenge is to ensure that the right fire alarm system and fire detection devices are chosen and installed in the right locations.
The fire detection devices need to be able to detect the primary indicators of a fire that are most likely in the location in which they are installed. In a kitchen, fire, smoke and heat may not be the primary indicators of a real fire!
Other considerations include making sure that additional equipment, such as fire blankets and extinguishers are of the correct type for each specific location.
When installing and maintaining a fire alarm system for a restaurant Tecserv UK works alongside the responsible individual or the fire officer (or team) and restaurant management team to ensure that these fire risks are minimised and that should a fire occur the very early indications of the exact location of a fire is provided so that diners are evacuated safely.
A fire alarm sounding is something that restaurant owners and managers do not want to hear. Unplanned fire alarm evacuations cause disruption, reputational damage and will ruin the diner experience. They also waste food and cost time and money.
At Tecserv we help to ensure regular planned maintenance and training takes place and that we help all stakeholders with responsibility for fire safety ensure that their systems and processes are compliant, well maintained and support fire safety policies, procedures and legislation.