Your workers may either raise your risk of fire or be one of your strongest lines of defense in avoiding it, depending on how much fire safety and prevention training you give. Furthermore, if a fire breaks out in your restaurant, your employees will be responsible for rapidly resolving the issue and directing your guests to safety, even if there aren’t any Fire Watch Guards present at that time. Their performance will be determined in large part by the training they have received; investing in your staff can not only minimize your danger of fire but also save lives if a fire occurs in your kitchen.
Ensure that your employees have the necessary equipment and training for any culinary procedures that require open flames. Alcohol and propane-based methods are especially dangerous when used near dining tables, where errors might cause tablecloths, napkins, and potentially servers’ and customers’ clothing to catch fire.
All equipment and appliances should be used according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Only 2% of the fires investigated in the NFPA report were caused by improperly operated equipment.
Teach staff how to put out grease fires on stovetops and grills fast.
According to data from the United States Fire Administration, the majority of flames (almost 70%) can be controlled and do not spread beyond the source of the fire, such as a grill or stovetop.
Teaching your staff how to rapidly put out minor fires may drastically minimize the danger of them spreading. It’s also critical that kids realize that grabbing the nearest fire extinguisher isn’t always the best course of action in the event of a grease fire. Small grease fires may usually be put out by putting a metal lid over the flames and shutting off the heat source.
Make sure that every employee understands how to utilize fire extinguishers appropriately. Kitchen workers must be taught how to use fire extinguishers and fire suppression equipment, according to the NFPA 96. They should also be aware that Class K fire extinguishers should only be used after a kitchen suppression system has been activated.
Prepare your employees to promptly shut off their computers. Every shift should have at least one worker educated on how to turn off the gas and/or electrical power in the event of an emergency. If you have gas appliances in your kitchen, you should know if the shut-off valve is meant to activate automatically or if it must be controlled manually.
Make emergency training mandatory. Teach new workers on evacuation protocols, and give everyone a refresher at least once a year. Every staff should be able to locate the nearest exits from any point in the restaurant. Then, as a follow-up to the instruction, conduct frequent fire exercises.
Make sure you have a fire safety plan in place. Even if you follow all of the best procedures outlined above, your commercial kitchen should have an evacuation plan in place — one that is easy to read and comprehend, and one that is displayed at each egress point. Every shift should have a designated evacuation manager, who will be in charge of dialing 911 and ensuring that everyone departs the premises safely in the case of an emergency. Fire Watch Guards can help you develop a comprehensive, customized fire safety and emergency evacuation plan for your restaurant, equipped with all the necessary emergency products and services.