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Reopening food businesses urged to check fire safety

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With businesses preparing to reopen after the Covid-19 lockdown, employers are being urged to ensure their workplace is safe for employees and customers to return.

Since social distancing measures were put in place, it’s likely a number of changes would have been introduced in workplaces to help staff work while adhering to new restrictions.

London and many local fire bridgades around the UK are calling on takeaway and restaurant businesses to undertake risk assesments before reopening.

Food business such as restaurants, cafes and takeaways, need to pay attention to fire safety as staff need to complete a Fire Risk Assessment and make an emergency plan.



London and many local fire bridgades around the UK are calling on takeaway and restaurant businesses to undertake risk assesments before reopening.

Common fire risks in food businesses

Fire bridgades have dealt with many fires in food businesses across the UK and have noticed several common factors where these problems have been encountered.

Dirty ducting is one of the most common reasons for fires. Not cleaning the ducting in extraction systems regularly, puts businesses at a greater risk of ducting fires. Also due to poor fire-safe separation between units, ducting can pass through residential accommodation above and cause secondary fires.

Electrical fires are another common cause of fires at takeaways and restaurants. This is often because a business has not tested portable appliances (like kitchen radios or blenders), and because the electrical system itself is not up to scratch. Electrical lighting can also be placed too close to flammable material, increasing the risk of fire.

Food business workers also need to be trained around safe cooking techniques, as the overheating of oils used for cooking is another common cause of fires.

What causes fires in restaurants and takeaways?

Kitchen appliances 25%

Cooker 23%

Electrical distribution 17%

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