Advice for Pubs, Clubs and Restaurants
If you’re responsible for licensed premises (pubs clubs or bars) there are specific areas of fire safety you need to really pay attention to.
What causes fires in licensed premises
For the three years from 2015-2017
- 50% of fires in pubs were caused by either cooking or smoking
- 44% of fires in restaurants were caused by cooking
In pubs and clubs, escape planning is particularly important. Do you know how you would safely and quickly evacuate on a busy Friday night? How would you help customers with mobility issues?
On this page, we’ll take a closer look at the risks and what you can do to reduce them, and provide advice about creating an emergency plan that will help you make sure everyone can get to safety if there is a fire.
Did you know?
Why fire safety matters?
- Taking your responsibilities seriously is the right thing to do – you are risking peoples’ lives if you don’t.
- It’s the law – you can go to prison and face an unlimited fine if you don’t meet your legal obligations.
- Many pubs and clubs don’t recover after a fire – planning ahead and reducing risks makes good business sense.
Causes and risks
How to provide appropriate care – fire risks to watch out for
The first step to improving your fire prevention strategy is identifying where things can go wrong. In 2016/17, our firefighters attended 533 fires in pubs and clubs across London, and we’ve noticed some common factors in the licenced premises that have experienced fires.
Common fire risks in bars, pubs and clubs
- Electrical faults – these often happen when portable items aren’t properly tested and maintained, or when the electrical system itself isn’t in good condition.
- Electrical equipment – we see many fires where lighting is placed too close to flammable materials.
- Smoking – smoking materials being disposed of carelessly, or smoking allowed in inappropriate areas.
- Arson – if you store stock or rubbish in a publically accessible place, this increases your risk.
Emergency planning risks
Poor escape planning is unfortunately quite common in licensed premises. Do you know how your customers will escape? What about other people in the building?As well as fire safety risks, there are some extra areas for concern, including
- Staff training – you may have a valid emergency plan, but does everyone know how to put it into action? High turnover can mean that knowledge isn’t passed on.
- Lack of practice – do you do fire drills? Are staff really prepared? And are your staff up to the job of managing a large and potentially intoxicated crowd?
- Inadequate staffing in an emergency – staffing levels don’t always support evacuation strategy.
- Difficult escape routes – licensed premises can have quirky layouts or be underground, so your emergency plan needs careful consideration.
- Escape routes for neighbours – it’s also important to consider how people in accommodation above any licensed premises might escape.
Fire Risk Assessment
So if you are responsible for the fire safety of a pub, club or restaurant and require a fire risk assessment please get in touch to organise for one of our assessors to visit your premises.