Fire safety advice for restaurants, fast food outlets and take away shops

This page contains fire safety information for owners and managers of restaurants, fast food outlets and take away shops.

Fires in commercial premises can be devastating, not only in terms of injuries, but also in the cost of repairs and the disruption to business, with the possibility that your customers may go elsewhere.

The information on this page will help to protect your business from the consequences of fire and to ensure that you are aware of your legal responsibilities under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Protect your premises from fire - your responsibilities

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 makes you responsible for taking steps to protect the people using your premises from the risk of fire.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 there is a requirement placed on the “Responsible Person” to carry out a fire risk assessment - to identify any possible risks, to reduce or remove those risks and to implement any precautions necessary to ensure that persons on the premises could be alerted and would be able to escape safely in the event of a fire occurring. In doing this you will drastically reduce the chance of you and your business being affected.

You must:

  • Carry out a fire risk assessment - see below

  • If necessary, improve your fire safety measures

  • Keep the risks, and your fire safety measures under review

Have you carried out a fire risk assessment?

If you have not already done so, you must carry out a fire risk assessment as soon as possible. 

A fire risk assessment is a thorough look at your premises and the people who are likely to use them. It considers the risk of fire breaking out and what measures you need to put in place to prevent it and keep people safe.

There are five steps to carrying out a risk assessment.

Please use the links below to find out more about each of the five steps:

Step 1 - Identify people at risk

Step 2 - Identify fire hazards

Step 3 - Evaluate the risk

Step 4 - Record your findings

Step 5 - Review and revise

Find out more - Fire risk assessment

Leaflet - fire safety tips

Please download the following leaflet, which contains safety tips for owners and managers of restaurants, fast food outlets and take away shops:

Leaflet - Fire safety tips for owners and managers of restaurants fast food outlets and take away shops (new window, PDF 680KB)

Cleaning Expectations for Cooking Extractor Hoods and Systems

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to warn you of the fire risks associated with failing to have your extraction ducts cleaned, or adequately maintained to repair any breaks/gaps in the ducts.  The build up of flammable fats, dust and grease may prevent ventilation systems from working properly and contribute to the rapid spread of fire. 

Most insurance companies require this as a condition of your building insurance policy and your cover may be invalidated if regular maintenance and cleaning of the extraction ducts is not carried out.  

Here is a Guidance Note regarding Cleaning Expectations for Cooking Extractor Hoods and Systems:

Guidance Note - Cleaning Expectations for Cooking Extractor Hoods and Systems (new window, PDF 61KB)

Sleeping accommodation in upper floors - fire safety arrangements

There have been a number of recent fires in Cheshire in businesses such as fast food outlets, takeaways, cafes and restaurants where upper floors are being used for sleeping accommodation. These fires often result in significant financial loss, with a high risk of injury and even death.

It is particularly important to consider and put in place the right fire safety arrangements to protect not only the lives of you, your family, employees and customers, but also your property and your business.

In many cases it has come to light that people are sleeping in rooms and or flats above businesses, often accessed by a single unprotected staircase from the main public or kitchen area of the building. Often these exit routes are blocked with combustible materials.

Experience has shown that people living on upper floors find it difficult to evacuate quickly and safely in an emergency unless a safe exit route is available.

Reducing the dangers

  • Fit an alarm to provide early warning of fire throughout the building

  • Keep escape routes clear from combustible material and other obstructions

  • Never wedge open fire doors or remove door closing devices (a fire door can only protect you if it is kept closed)

  • Protect/separate staircases with fire resisting construction to ensure your exit route is safe

Make sure your family and employees know how to:
  • Get out of the building in the event of fire - have a fire escape plan

  • Call the fire and rescue service

Contact us for more information

For more specific information please contact your local Protection team