Hospitality: Fire and electrical safety checks

Since restrictions lifted on 19 July in England, the hospitality sector has welcomed more capacity in their venues leading to an increase in revenue and more employment opportunities. As your business returns to the ‘new normal’, your responsibilities as an employer to ensure your fire and electrical safety measures are up to date, should be at the forefront of your mind. In fact, when you have a period of inactivity, change in capacity, or reduction in staff, you’re legally required to review and update your fire and electrical safety measures in line with the Fire Safety Order (2005).

When looking at statistics from 2015 to 2019, smoking and the lack of kitchen safety seemed to be the leading causes of pub and restaurant fires, with 50% of pub fires caused as a result of smoking and 44% of restaurant fires were caused by cooking.

So, to help you keep in line with the law and keep everyone in your premises safe from fire and electrical hazards, we’ve created this short checklist to get you started.

Your fire and electrical safety testing checklist

Emergency lights

  • If your business is occupied during hours of darkness (a bar or nightclub for example), have you installed emergency lighting?
  • Will your emergency lighting system work when you need it to?
  • Have you tested it (via a visual inspection and a flick test), to make sure it works properly?
  • Have you recently carried out a visual inspection to detect any damage or faults?
  • Are you due your annual emergency light testing to comply with British Standards?
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Fire extinguishers

  • Are your fire extinguishers still located in the correct place?
  • Are they fitted properly?
  • Are they the correct type?
  • Are the anti-tamper seals in place?
  • Do they hold charge?
  • Do they need replacing?
  • Have their maintenance dates expired?
  • When is your fire extinguisher servicing next due?

Fire alarms

  • Have you tested your fire detection system to see if it’s fault free and functioning correctly? (This includes checking your fire alarm panel, call points, smoke detectors, fire alarms, suppression systems).
  • Has your fire alarm system and fire prevention equipment testing been maintained to comply with the relevant British Standards?
  • Have you made changes to your building that may require additional automatic fire detection?
  • When are your fire alarms due their next inspection?
  • Is your call point easy to access and guaranteed to do its job in the instance of a fire?

PAT testing

  • Is your electrical equipment up to date with its PAT testing?
  • If you’re using electrical equipment outside of your café, restaurant or in a beer garden, for example, is it Residual Current Devices (RCD) protected in case of harsh weather?
  • How often do you carry out visual inspections on your electrical equipment to check for wear and tear?

Fixed wire testing

Fire risk assessment

  • Is your fire risk assessment up to date including any new changes? For example, if you run a small bar but have decided to serve food, you will need to conduct a kitchen fire risk assessment.
  • If you do have a commercial kitchen on your premises, have you reviewed your cooking equipment, extractor fans, duct work and other fire hazards?
  • Is all your fire safety documentation up to date?
  • Have you reviewed the change in occupancy levels now restrictions have lifted, and how that might impact your fire risk assessment?
  • Have you conducted the necessary checks if your staffing levels have changed?
  • Is your appointed fire warden still with the business and present during business hours?
  • Do you need to appoint a new fire warden?
  • Have you done the necessary checks with your new fire warden to make sure they can carry out their role effectively before you reopen?
  • Have all employees been familiarised with the latest fire risk assessment?
  • Do you need to update your evacuation procedures?
  • Are all escape routes still easy to access in the event of a fire? Even for wheelchair users?

Training

  • Are all your employees up to date with their fire and electrical safety training?
  • Are all your fire and electrical safety training documents up to date?
  • Do you have new staff that require training in fire safety?
  • Are you up to date with refresher training and drills or are they overdue?

Additional important considerations

  • If your business uses marquees, gazebos, tents (temporary structures), are they to the correct standard?
  • Did your supplier provide you with the relevant certification to prove the lining of your temporary structure is flame retardant and the poles, stakes, anchors, and fastenings have been regularly tested?
  • Are external heaters properly maintained and are staff trained to use them safely?
  • If you rent out spare rooms for sleeping accommodation, do you have sufficient fire precautions in place?
  • If you are using Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders or cartridges in your outdoor area, are they located in a safe, secure, and well-ventilated place?
  • Do you have a designated smoking area away from your venue and any temporary structures?

How we can help

Our BAFE accredited services can help make sure your fire and electrical safety measures are up to date and comply with legislation. Our multi-skilled, FIA trained and NAPIT qualified engineers can perform all your checks and servicing, so you don’t have to.

We can conduct a full assessment of your fire and electrical safety measures, identify any defects, and provide you with an in-depth report so you can rectify any issues and feel confident your business is in safe hands.

To get in touch with our team click here.