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Fire Protection Checklist
Drive-thrus and QSRs
QSR businesses are susceptible to fire hazards given that there are constant open flames, hot cooking oils/greases, cleaning products, electrical connections, etc. Given such circumstances, it is always best to implement fire protection strategies, such as fire extinguisher presence, fire detection, and even a solid evacuation plan.
When devising an evacuation plan, ensure that the exit routes and pathways are clear and well-lit to make it easier for people to locate them. Additionally, all equipment and appliances should be arranged not to cause any obstructions or blockages during an incident. Employing such strategies would help keep your employees and patrons’ safe and prevent damage to property and equipment.
QSRs and drive-thrus are vulnerable to various fire hazards, especially when an array of hot cooking equipment is present around the kitchens. Such restaurants have to work with greases and highly flammable oils, and the constant exposure to the heat can pave the way for a potential fire, endangering both the employees and the patrons. An efficient fire detection will ensure that you are notified of an imminent fire, thus, helping you extinguish it on time before it spreads to the entire restaurant.
Fire hazards can bring severe repercussions to a QSR business, leading to casualties, loss of lives, property/equipment damage, and possible litigation. However, with the help of fire detection, one can avoid safety threats and maintain an environment that protects both employees and customers at large.
Since QSRs are routinely susceptible to fire hazards, owners need to implement a fire and smoke detection system. They should also be mindful of how the cooking equipment and electrical wires and cords are arranged. All these items need to be kept away from the open flames of the stove. Clean any spillage of oil and water immediately to avoid any mishaps. Switched-on appliances should never be left unattended by employees, and various power sources should never be exposed. Additionally, employees must avoid wearing loose clothing while preparing food as the sleeves may catch on fire. The QSR establishments should also implement strategies such as an evacuation plan and identifying the exit doors to evacuate the premises.
- a. Ensure that you clean up any oil or grease spillage.
- b. Always store cleaning agents and other flammable liquids in a safe place.
- c. Keep liquids away from any sources of power or electrical wiring.
- a. Do not delay the evacuation procedure if the fire detector gives off warning signals.
- b. Do not disregard any instructions given during an emergency evacuation and always follow instructions carefully.
The presence of hot open flames and cooking equipment can become reasons for a potential fire which is why fire extinguishers work as the first line of defense. The extinguisher will control the fire and keep them from spreading to other parts of the establishment. In addition, the presence of fire extinguishers at designated places could help prevent severe damage to property/equipment and safeguard the employees’ and customers’ lives.
Reasons for fires can sometimes be power failures, open flames on the stove, hot equipment, cooking oil spillage, improper use of abrasive cleaning products, etc. QSRs and drive-thrus can employ different fire protection measures, but none can be more important than having a suitable fire extinguisher. The extinguishers play a significant role in containing the kitchen fires and keep them from spreading throughout the restaurant.
Restaurants often work with greases and highly flammable oils, and the constant exposure to heat can pave the way for a potential fire. Therefore, keeping a Class K extinguisher (i.e., a portable extinguisher) is advisable for kitchen fires caused by oils, fats, and grease that burn at high temperatures. These portable fire extinguishers contain chemical components to control or eliminate fires by releasing water, foam, gas, and other materials. If correctly used, they can prevent flames from getting out of hand. Ensure that you place the device in an area away from the stove and other cooking equipment to prevent the fire from reaching it. However, even with the distance, always place the extinguisher in any kitchen area with easy access.
- a. Place the extinguisher in a place that you can quickly locate in the event of an emergency.
- b. Always make sure to clean up any grease or oil spillage.
- c. Place the fire extinguisher close to the areas with sources of electricity.
- a. Do not keep flammable liquids close to the fire extinguisher.
- b. Do not use extinguishers that have been tampered with or damaged.
- c. Avoid using a device that has a missing seal or is past its expiry date.