We are still awaiting updated statistics for recent years, but government reports from 2019/2020 show that hospitality venues in the UK experiences more than 1,900 in the financial year ending 2020. Importantly, as the hospitality re-opened its doors following the pandemic, it became more important than ever not to forget about fire safety when distracted by other Covid-19 safety measures which had to be in place prior to re-opening.
With the Jubilee Weekend now well and truly over, now is a good time for the hospitality sector to take stock and check all areas of health and safety in their venues, including fire safety, before the big summer holiday rush.
To help you comply with all legislation and to keep your staff and customers safe, the team at Hartson Fire has come up with the main causes of fire the hospitality sector and what measures you can take to mitigate them.
Inevitably, the hospitality sector uses a high number of hazardous materials particularly in the kitchen, including flammable liquids, cooking oils and fats, plus a lot of electrical equipment according to the venue.
These electrical equipment and appliances are necessary to keep the venue going. They can range from extra lights to create an ambient atmosphere in a restaurant to electrical appliances like kettles and hair dryers in hotel rooms. If these appliances are misused or not tested regularly can present a serious fire risk.
That’s why it’s so important for hospitality business owners to ensure all electrical appliances have been PAT tested within the last 12 months to minimise the risk of a fire. It’s equally important to ensure that there are fire extinguishers, duly signed and labelled with instructions, at the most appropriate locations in the venue (as identified by a fire risk assessment). These extinguishers must also be suitable for use on electrical fires, usually traditional powder or CO2 extinguishers.
Cooking fats and oils can be another main cause of fires in a hospitality venue where cooking is done. Fires caused by cooking oils and fats are referred to a Class F fires and require a specific type of extinguisher to put them out.
This is because cooking oils have an explosive reaction to liquids. Foam or water fire extinguishers can actually spread the source of the fire and quickly worsen an already-dangerous situation. That’s why it’s vital to ensure that fire extinguishers installed in Class F fire risk areas are suitable to tackle this specific class of fire. Our recommendation is the versatile and high-performing MultiCHEM fire extinguisher as well as wet chemical fire extinguishers.
Many hospitality venues sometimes provide designated areas for staff and guests to smoke, fires from discarded cigarettes can be a real threat. Hospitality venues should provide highly visible and easily accessible bins or wall-mounted ash trays for smokers to safely stub out and dispose their cigarettes rather than leaving them on the floor or throwing them over a wall.
In addition to having in place the correct amount and type of fire extinguishers in the correct location, it also important to have in place safety signage of all types ranging from extinguishers signs and instructions to fire exits and assembly points. It’s equally important to have fire safety door signs, particularly in hotels with many different corridors and doorways. These can prevent the spread of fire, provided they are kept shut, enabling an effective evacuation in the case of fire.
And please, please don’t forget about fire extinguisher servicing. It’s all well and good to have the equipment in place, but if it isn’t regularly serviced then it may not be in full working order and so totally useless in the case of a fire.
At Hartson Fire, we offer a comprehensive servicing service to all our customers. What’s more, once you are on our database, then we will remind you when your next fire extinguisher servicing is due and arrange an appointment with one of our engineers at your convenience. This will give you peace of mind when it comes to the efficacy of your fire extinguishers as well as ensuring you meet your legislative obligations in terms of fire equipment servicing.
To find out more or to book an appointment call us today on the number below or visit our website here to see our full range of products and servicing options https://hartsonfire.co.uk/.