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Word to the Wise: Fire Safety

Our Primary Authority for Fire, West Yorkshire Fire Department share their top tips for fire safety

Here at NCASS our mission is simple – we aim to ensure the profitability, legality and most importantly, the safety of members’ businesses. As a result of this, we are pleased to announce the launch of our new weekly ‘Word to the Wise’ email which will focus on sharing useful information based on our industry expertise as well as vital information we’ve received from credible sources.

With both Bonfire night and Christmas just around the corner, we thought we’d kick off our new feature with some top tips on fire safety from West Yorkshire Fire Department. NCASS’ very own catering equipment guru, Penny, became passionate about imparting these tips when she came to realise that a lot of the traders with whom she was communicating had limited knowledge with regards to what fire extinguishers they should be using; with many caterers’ understanding of how and when to use a fire blanket being especially limited.

Fire Blankets 101:

The size of the fire blanket required will ultimately be decided by the site-specific Fire Risk Assessment. A good rule of thumb would be to question whether the blanket adequately covers the risk area.

Generally, the smaller sizes/ Light Duty Fire Blankets (1mx1m, 1.2mx1.2m) will usually cover for the risks within cooking oil containers whilst the larger/ Heavy Duty Fire Blankets (1.2mx1.8m, 1.8mx1.8m) will cover for the risk of a person’s clothing catching fire.

All fire blankets should conform to the current British Standard 7944: 1999 and BS EN 1869: 1997.

Once acquired, all fire blankets should be checked periodically to ensure that they are suitable for use and cleaning should be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. This will ensure any damage due to microorganisms or insects will be identified and addressed.

The positioning of the blanket should also be checked on a regular basis check to ensure no obstruction.

It should be noted, fire blankets are a first response to a developing fire, no attempt should be made to extinguish a fully developed fire.

As with all firefighting equipment, persons deploying should have received suitable training.

Is your fire extinguisher fit for purpose?

You must ensure that your fire extinguisher is suitable for use with both your catering equipment and your food type. Please see the table included above and if in doubt, please call NCASS on 0121 603-2524 and ask for Penny; alternatively, please visit our equipment website for an array of both fire blankets and extinguishers. NCASS members also get access to our Fire Safety course which has been attested and certified by West Yorkshire Fire Department who are our primary authority for fire safety.

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