The LWF Blog
Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Fire Prevention for Heating & Cooking – Part 105July 5, 2021 11:28 am
Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF) is a specialist fire engineering and fire risk management consultancy whose aim is to give information on best practice in fire safety for facilities management personnel through this blog series. In part 104, LWF looked at the potential for fire danger from sources of heating. In part 105, we will continue to discuss heating before beginning to discuss the potential fire danger from cooking appliances and activities.
While permanent solutions to heating problems should be addressed by a fixed heating system suitable for the premises, there can be occasions where portable heaters are necessary for short-term heating problems. In such circumstances, radiant heaters should be avoided. Radiant heaters do not aim to heat the area in which they are situated, but rather the objects and people in that area. As this can lead to the overheating and ignition of combustible materials, they are to be avoided.
Any heater used must be sited where they cannot be knocked over or damaged and be positioned on a non-combustible surface, clear of combustible materials. Any heating appliance used should be regularly inspected and any necessary maintenance undertaken promptly.
Under no circumstances must staff be permitted to bring their own heating appliances into the premises.
Kitchens, whether for professional or staff use, are sites of potential fire hazard. The cooking appliances provided must be used in the way they were intended and should not be left unsupervised while switched on. Staff should be properly trained in use of the appliances and in what actions must be taken in the event of fire.
It is essential that kitchen areas are kept clean to avoid the build-up of grease deposits that can become an accelerant should a fire ignite. Grease in the ductwork over a deep fat fryer, for instance, should be regularly cleaned.
A space should be clear around each appliance and in particular, between a deep fat fryer and any other appliance.
Clearly-labelled facilities to shut off power, fuel and air extraction in an emergency should be available and incorporated into kitchen and fire safety training.
The installation of all electrical appliances must be undertaken by a competent person, such as an NICEIC-approved contractor, as per the Wiring Regulations. Gas appliances must be installed in accordance with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations and BS 6173 and by a registered installer. CORGI was replaced as the UK’s official register of engineers by The Gas Safe Register in 2009.
In part 106 of this series, LWF will continue looking at fire precautions and cooking in kitchens. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact LWF on freephone 0800 410 1130.
Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 25 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings.
While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.