As the manager or owner of a hospitality venue, it’s absolutely crucial that you take fire safety very seriously and leave no stone unturned. According to government statistics, hospitality venues in England have experienced more than 6,400 fires over the last four years, so, the risks must be understood and prevented.
What is your responsibility as the (wo)man in charge? Regardless of whether you run a hotel, bar, restaurant, or something else in the hospitality world, here are some top tips for fire safety.
Carry out regular fire risk assessments
Hospitality venues are often busy places that welcome large groups of the general public at once, meaning there can be an abundance of fire risks. The risk is largely heightened in restaurants, as these venues regularly deal with open flames.
To ensure fire safety, you must carry out frequent fire risk assessments to identify:
- What exactly are the fire hazards
- Who is at risk
- What’s the best evacuation plan
Once the above points have been established, record your findings and keep them documented somewhere safe for easy, regular reviewing.
Practice your evacuation plan
Ah, the dreaded fire alarm drills! While they can feel like a nuisance at the time, practicing your fire evacuation plan will ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to safely leaving the building in the event of a fire. The evacuation drill helps to test the effectiveness of the emergency plan and consolidate staff training,
Your restaurant, bar or hotel should aim to do this at least twice a year – unless your fire risk assessment encourages more. Put a time and date in place and warn your staff that the fire drill is going to take place and that they should take it seriously. Having these drills will allow all staff to be confident in the planned procedures, for instance they will be able to identify the nearest emergency exit sign, locate necessary fire equipment, and know where the designated muster points are. This will ensure that in the event of an emergency they can assist all guests to exit the building quickly and calmly.
Don’t scrimp on your fire alarm
When it comes to your fire alarm, you absolutely must ensure that you’re installing only the best… They say that a fire alarm is the most important investment that a business can make, and it’s not hard to see why. If a fire emergency was to take place in your property, you need to be confident in the knowledge that you have the smartest and safest system around. It just might save lives.
Be sure to shop around before committing yourself to a particular device, as there are many out there now that offer different things. If you’re looking for fire alarm installers in Durham, turn to CDS Security & Fire. This particular company is authorised to design, install, commission, service and maintain the Gent range of Fire Alarm and Detection Systems.
Uncover training opportunities for your staff
It’s really important that your staff thoroughly understand what to do (beyond evacuating the building) in the event of a fire. As a hospitality venue, if a fire emergency was to take place, your visitors and guests would look to your staff for guidance. If no one has had adequate training, this could be both extremely dangerous and damaging to your business’s reputation.
It shouldn’t take you too long to uncover local organisations and centres that offer fire safety training for businesses. A simple Google search should be suffice, and from there you can book sessions with some or all of your staff.