For every fish and chip shop owner, the fear of seeing their business, their pride and joy, up in flames is ever-present. Beyond the economic implications, a fire threatens the well-being of staff, patrons, and oneself.
Let's face it: no one wants to be in a position where they must rush to their insurance, navigate the small print, and wait anxiously for a payout.
While many of us establish safety protocols, some of these measures can fall by the wayside over time. To ensure your beloved chippy remains safe, here's a comprehensive guide on fire prevention:
Duct Maintenance Is Vital
Did you know? Nearly 70% of fires in commercial premises start in extract ventilation systems due to accumulated fats. Adhere to your insurance policy's requirements about regular cleaning. Employ a professional to inspect and service your cooking fume extraction systems. Always maintain photographic evidence and keep a certificate of cleaning. Moreover, clean out grease filters and traps weekly with the Ceres Natural Degreaser, keeping a log.
Monitor Your Frying Range
Fires often start when the range oil catches flame. An essential tip? Ensure the thermostat prevents oil temperature from exceeding 205°C. This tiny device could be the difference between safety and disaster. Regularly inspect, and always have removable pan lids accessible. Never leave a frying range unattended; always check for adequate oil before turning on. A regular boil-out routine with Ceres Deep Fryer Cleaner will keep the carbon at bay but also enable you to look out for any cracks in your pans or fryers.
Engage With Local Fire Brigades
Many fire brigades offer free business evaluations for fire safety. Harness their expertise to safeguard your shop further.
Prioritise Staff Training
The more your team knows, the safer your business will be. Establish a standard training protocol, ensuring every member understands and acknowledges each step. Regularly discuss fire procedures to ensure everyone knows what to do in an emergency.
Handle Batter Scraps With Care
Surprisingly, batter scraps can be a fire hazard. Don't let them linger after closing. Some pro-tips have fewer of them. Offer them to customers, but if that still isn't enough, allow them to drain before discarding, and always store them outside in a dedicated bin away from the building, and as an extra final measure, hose them down with cold water.
Know Your Equipment Inside Out
Any irregularity, like a noisy fan, warrants immediate attention. Regularly have your electrical equipment PAT tested. Your frying range or fryer must have regular service by the installer or approved agent.
Fire Suppression: Your Essential Backup
Equip your shop with fire extinguishers suitable for tackling oil and fat fires. Consider investing in a fire suppression system for your range. Though it may seem a bit pricey, it could make the difference between a minor incident and a catastrophic loss.
In Summary - Every aspect of your fish & chip shop, from the intricacies of equipment maintenance to staff training, plays a crucial role in ensuring fire safety. By diligently following these seven guidelines, you're not just securing your business assets but more importantly, ensuring the safety of everyone who walks through its doors. Taking these proactive measures gives your fish & chip business the best chance to thrive and serve its community while remaining a beacon of safety and quality. Always remember: prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to fire safety.