Kitchens are a fire hazard, everyone who works in a restaurant or cafe knows this. Since there is no way to avoid fire or heat when running or working in the kitchen, the best way to deal with a fire is to be prepared on how to act. All staff members, including those who work outside the kitchen, should know what to do in case a fire breaks out.
If you’re unsure of how to handle a fire, here are some reminders to share with staff members on your next meeting:
Fire Suppression System Training
Although there is a restaurant hood fire suppression system installed in the kitchen, the kitchen staff may not know how to use it during a fire. To ensure that at least one will react right away it is highly recommended to do a fire suppression system training regularly.
Even if the system installed is very basic and easy to use, training is still required. Most people tend to forget how to react during an emergency, training will allow them to act naturally in the event of a fire. Routine training will ensure the kitchen staff reacts instinctively instead of panicking.
Fire Extinguisher Use
While it seems like a basic reaction, most people do not know how to actually use a fire extinguisher correctly. In many cases, the staff will run away or struggle to use the device which can be a hazard on its own. Grease fires can happen in a second and can spread just as fast. The staff must know where to locate the extinguisher and how to use it correctly.
Train at least two people to use the extinguisher and have at least one in the kitchen at all times for added safety.
Schedule Regular Fire Drills
Depending solely on the restaurant hood fire suppression system is not recommended. While the system can save the kitchen from burning into embers, evacuation and safety are still the top priority. The kitchen crew should be trained to exit the building as fast and as calmly as possible, the same with the crew outside the kitchen during the fire drills.
Wait staff should be trained to assist customers while keeping calm and ensuring they are safely exiting the restaurant. Even if fire drills seem like something reminiscent of school years, it is a must in the restaurant industry.
DO NOT USE WATER!
Water should never be used to put out kitchen fires caused by oil and grease because this will make the situation worse. Splashing water on fire seems very obvious and instinctual, but this should never be the case. Water can actually spread the grease and fire instead of dampening it.
It is for this very reason why all commercial kitchens must have a fire suppression system installed.
Follow The Code
An up to date fire suppression system is worth the investment for any restaurant. Check local fire codes and make sure that your establishment is up to code and all staff members are trained to respond to a fire or any other emergency.
If you’re running a restaurant or a commercial kitchen, you need to be ready for the worst. Westminster Fire can install a restaurant hood fire suppression system to ensure safety. Contact us today!