Commercial Kitchen Safety Check: Ensuring Fire Preparedness

In the fast-paced life of a commercial kitchen, where chefs and staff dedicate themselves to crafting the perfect meals, it’s important to not overlook one of the most critical risks inherent in any kitchen environment: fire. Whether it’s a minor oil flame on the stove or a more substantial blaze, fires can yield devastating consequences if not effectively managed.

How Can I Prepare for a Fire in a Commercial Kitchen?

To guarantee fire safety preparedness in commercial kitchens, several steps should be taken. This involves regular equipment maintenance and ensuring that all kitchen appliances, such as stoves, ovens, fryers, and exhaust systems, undergo routine inspections. It’s crucial to ensure they are cleaned regularly, and that maintenance is up to date. Additionally, implementing testing and tagging procedures is recommended as a comprehensive approach to prevent malfunctions or overheating that could potentially lead to fires.


Maintaining a clean and dry storage area in your commercial kitchen is paramount, aligning with every chef’s aspiration. Proper storage of flammable materials like cooking oils and cleaning chemicals is essential. Reminding staff to keep these materials away from heat sources and storing them in designated areas with adequate ventilation contributes significantly to kitchen safety.

Fire equipment in your commercial kitchen

Take a moment to assess the fire equipment available in your kitchen. Do you have fire sprinklers or hood suppression systems strategically placed in key areas? Are fire extinguishers and fire blankets accessible in multiple locations throughout the kitchen, or perhaps both and are they the correct fire extinguishers for the types of fires you might have to deal with? It’s essential to ensure that staff members are trained in the proper use of these tools and feel confident in their ability to employ them effectively during an emergency.

Communication is key

Consider how you would alert everyone to a fire—is it through verbal communication or the use of a Manual Call Point (MCP)? Familiarize yourself with the layout, ensuring that all fire equipment is clearly marked on your evacuation diagram, and that all staff members are aware of their locations.

Staff education

When onboarding new staff, prioritise educating them about fire safety protocols, including proper chemical storage, assembly areas, the availability and use of fire equipment and general emergency response procedures.

Review procedures & evacuation routes in your commercial kitchen

Regularly review evacuation procedures and emergency plans with all staff members annually. This review should encompass details such as assembly areas and the structure of your Emergency Control Organisation (ECO).

Inspect designated evacuation routes and assembly areas outside the building. It’s crucial to ensure that all staff members know how to exit safely and where to meet their colleagues for accountability. Establish a clear communication protocol for notifying staff members and other occupants about a fire emergency and coordinating evacuation efforts to prevent anyone from being left behind.

Regular fire drills

Conduct regular fire drills to ensure that all staff members are familiar with the safest exit routes and know how to reach the assembly area promptly. Use these drills as an opportunity to engage with the team, to sit down and have that chat and reflect on fire safety measures, identify areas for improvement, and reinforce preparedness for managing fires effectively so that you know your teams prepared when the fire gets out of control

To organise an evaluation of your commercial kitchen with a Workplace Emergency Management specialist, get in touch today.


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