5 Tips for Teaching Your Kitchen Staff About Fire Safety


A huge portion of home fires (41 percent in some areas) start in the kitchen with cooking equipment. If you own a restaurant, the dangers can be even more serious in your commercial kitchen. To reduce risks of fires, you need adequate safety equipment, and you also need to train your staff.

Here are some training essentials to consider:

1. Make Sure Staff Understand Different Types of Fires

Different fires require different types of extinguishers, and if you try to put out some fires like grease fires with water, they will only get worse. To safeguard against danger, make sure your kitchen staff understand various types of fires, where they are likely to occur and how to react if they do happen.

2. Train Staff on How to Work Extinguishing Equipment

You can have all the equipment in the world, but if your staff doesn't know how to work it, it's virtually worthless. Have a training session to give staff hands-on-experience with fire extinguishers. Also, cover the basics of any fire suppression materials you have integrated into your hood fans.

3. Check Grease Filters Regularly

To keep your kitchen running smoothly, you may have a list of opening and closing items that your team needs to do each day. Ideally, you may also want to have monthly or quarterly to-do lists as well. In terms of fire maintenance, that should include checking grease filters.

Many kitchen ventilation systems have non-combustible grease filters. These catch grease residue and prevent it from coating the inside of vents and creating a fire risk. However, for them to work properly, your staff needs to check them on a regular basis.

4. Service Fire Extinguishers

You may also want to put your head chef or someone from your management team in charge of checking and servicing your fire extinguishers. Checking should involve looking for tampering or damage. You should also have each extinguisher dated, and when it nears the expiration date, your head chef or manager can order a new one when they do their regular food and beverage orders.

5. Check for Fire Hazards at the End of the Day

Finally, at the end of every shift, your kitchen staff should go around the kitchen and make sure to remove any fire hazards. That includes turning off all fryers and stoves and removing towels from countertops and stovetops. If that's the very last thing they do each day, it will become habit, and they will be less likely to forget.

For additional advice, contact a company that specializes in fire safety training.


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