Wednesday, January 24, 2018

How to Train Kitchen Staff to Be Fire Safe

Bison Fire's Guide to Training Kitchen Staff

When working in a commercial kitchen, it’s crucial that all staff who venture in and out of the kitchen regularly have a firm understanding of kitchen fire safety. With a variety of potential hazards like high-heat cooking practices, large pieces of machinery, and many other variables, over 50% of the 8,160 structure fires at drinking and eating establishments each year are caused by cooking equipment.

Fire-related emergencies cannot always be foreseen. However, the right fire safety practices within kitchens and restaurants can help reduce the risk of hazardous events. It’s up to kitchen management to train staff members on the importance of fire safety and the preventative measures that need to be taken daily to avoid potential disasters and safety hazards.

Take the time to implement the following tips into your kitchen training and practices to enjoy a safer workplace environment:

Perform Fire Drills On a Regular Basis

Fire drills are not practical just for educational facilities or young families, but for the restaurant industry, too. Staff members should be aware of what to do in cause of a fire-related emergency, including proper exit routes and routines.

Kitchen managers and supervisors should have evacuation routes posted around heavily-used areas of the kitchen and establishment. These maps may seem like a nuisance, but can be the difference between life and death in emergency situations.

Scheduling and performing regular fire drills with kitchen employees demonstrates the safest way out of the building for staff members, as well as how to evacuate customers from the establishment.

Remove Obstacles and Debris from Evacuation Routes

Key evacuation routes shouldn’t simply be cleared and maintained before a fire drill, but 24/7. This includes taking out trash as soon as a bag is full, putting boxes and equipment bound for storage away where they belong, and making sure that staff items are put in the appropriate storage areas. Not only are blocked evacuation routes dangerous during emergency situations, but they violate health and safety codes.

Clean Grease Build-Up Routinely

Grease is a part of kitchen life and can quickly accumulate in convection ovens, exhaust hoods, grills, air ducts, broilers, fryers, ranges, and filters. These kitchen fixtures should be cleaned of grease on a routine basis to increase air flow and decrease the risk of a grease fire.

If a grease fire does occur in kitchen, staff should be trained to keep water away from it.

Invest Time in Fire Extinguisher Checks and Training

All kitchen and front-end staff members at an establishment should be well-versed on the locations of fire extinguishers, how to use them, and the appropriate time to use them. Upon hiring and training new employees, ensure that a full fire extinguisher training is completed. This should be a requirement for all staff members, and can be repeated on a yearly basis.

The expiry dates of fire extinguishers are often not as long as people may assume, so designate a few staff members to regularly check the dates and conditions of fire extinguishers. If an extinguisher is damaged or expired, contact your local fire protection equipment services immediately for a replacement.

The most effective method of fire prevention is training individuals to practice fire safety daily. By integrating fire prevention skills in the kitchen with regular routines and practices, fire safety can be enhanced while the risk of a fire-related emergency decreases.

The fire safety experts at Bison Fire Protection have the expertise, equipment, and knowledge needed to help you and your kitchen staff be fire safe. For more information on our products and services in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, and Saskatoon, call 866-441-3473 or find us online to schedule an appointment today.

Posted by Rob Read at 10:42 AM


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