Every commercial kitchen needs to be as safe from fires as possible. Any time you’re dealing with a fast-paced atmosphere that’s coupled with fire, there’s no question the danger of fire is higher than it would be if you were just sitting in your living room. However, there are steps every restaurant can take to keep their kitchens as safe as possible.
Create an emergency action plan
In the event of a fire or other emergency situation, the last thing you want is have everyone freezing because they don’t know what to do. When you create an emergency action plan, everyone will know what to do and when to do it. Yes, it’s important to have kitchen ventilation equipment that will keep your kitchen as safe as possible but you still need to know what to do if something goes wrong.
Your emergency action plan should include the following
When you create your emergency action plan, make sure it includes standard procedures for reporting any type of emergency, including fires. It also needs to include an evacuation policy that’s clear, concise, and simple enough that in an emergency, employees will remember what to do. This evacuation policy should also include a list of all escape procedures in an emergency, with routes clearly assigned for various locations throughout the restaurant and kitchen.
There should also be a master list of all emergency services numbers. Yes, everyone knows to call 9-1-1 if there’s an emergency, but do you know who to call if you have an issue with a chemical spill? What if there’s a gas leak? Having direct numbers to reach the appropriate offices can save time which can in turn save lives.
Your employees should also get instructions on how to use fire extinguishers and how your fire suppression system works. It’s true that fire extinguishers are made to be quick and easy to use but remember that when a fire breaks out, it’s difficult to concentrate and anything new will be challenging to figure out. Simply showing employees a video from the internet that outlines how to use a fire extinguisher can be important.
Finally, make sure that you have a list of all employee emergency contact info. Many offices have these lists compiled somewhere in the office but what happens if that office goes up in flames? Even if it’s saved to a computer, unless that file is saved to the cloud, you won’t be able to get to it in the event of a fire.