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How to improve fire safety training for your employees

Chef Cooking at GrillLet’s be frank, you have a business to run. In the foodservice industry, there’s never a moment when your entire staff is together at one time — least of all a time when you aren’t extremely busy.

These are truths of the foodservice industry and that can make setting up training sessions — and following through on them — incredibly difficult. These trainings are vital, however, particularly in cases like fire safety.

Today we’re offering our advice on how you can improve fire safety for your employees before you all return to the ever-so-frantic pace of foodservice.

Establish a fire suppression team

You may not have time to train your entire staff on how to use the fire suppression system, but you should have a large enough trained team that someone is always on staff should an incident arise. Train your entire management team as well as shift supervisors and even a few of your kitchen staff. Then hold monthly reminder trainings to make sure these skills stay top of mind. A fire can happen quickly, and you can’t afford a moment of indecision.

Extinguisher training across the board

While your entire staff may not be trained on the fire suppression system, everyone should know how to use a fire extinguisher. Management should check the expiration dates on all in-house extinguishers monthly and each staff member should be required to attend a monthly extinguisher use course where PASS is reiterated. OSHA requires that employees be trained in any personal extinguisher made available for their use so keeping up with this training is an important compliance consideration.

An eye toward being proactive

While acting properly once a fire starts is vital, the best fire safety training you can give your employees is teaching them how to prevent fires in the first place. For kitchen staff, this should include proper training regimens to remove ash or grease from build-up spots, so it doesn’t become a fire hazard. For those who handle supplies, it includes proper storage techniques and always being mindful of what they are placing flammable products near. For serving staff, it includes proper handling of combustible material.

In addition, all staff should be trained to watch for and report potential fire risks such as outdated appliances and frayed electrical wires. And they should also constantly be working to keep walkways clear of debris should they need to be used quickly in the event of a fire. It is these small steps, done each day, that can help prevent your business from suffering a big problem.

To learn more ways in which you can protect your business from fire concerns, download our eBook, “Flash in the pan: What you can do to reduce the risk of food service kitchen fires” today.

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