Chef is stirring vegetables

The safety factor is an all-important reality local food eateries can’t afford to ignore, if they want customers to have a safe, healthy dining experience time and time again.

Some customers frequent restaurants for years, regularly meeting with family and friends to enjoy great food and fun. In recent months, a very popular Philadelphia restaurant Bridget Foy’s went up in smoke, leaving three firefighters hurt, a pile of rubble, and faithful patrons with only cherished memories of their time there.

Other Philadelphia restaurants can guard against a similar tragedy by implementing fire safety practices in their establishments.

Kitchen Safety Checklist
Following recent local fires and in preparation for last year’s Center City Restaurant Week, The Philadelphia Fire Department issued kitchen safety checklists to restaurants to make sure their cooking practices, facility, and equipment were in keeping with best safe practices for both staff and patrons.

Startling statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration revealed there are more than 5,500 restaurant fires annually, primarily caused by cooking. Local eateries can keep Philly stats low or nonexistent when they rigorously adhere to fire safety checks to protect their people and property, in that order.

ServeSafe Kitchen Training
Fire safety starts with the restaurant owner’s commitment to keeping all staff and patrons safe from fire hazards. This vital step gives restaurant employees the confidence and resources to prepare food in a fast-paced, often confined and flammable environment.

ServeSafe certification is an established best practice training that many restaurants use to teach their workers about both fire and food safety. For instance, above all else, all employees should know how and when to use a fire extinguisher. Also, restaurant staff needs to be trained on how to properly use cooking equipment, and avoid using damaged electrical equipment to avoid electrocution, stove or oven fires.

Fire safety training is a preventative measure that no Philadelphia dining establishment can afford to do without.

Everyday Restaurant Fire Safety Tips
In addition to safe cooking equipment and training, local restaurants can maximize their fire safety efforts by practicing a few key safety tips in their kitchens and overall facilities:

1. Make sure you’re equipped to smolder grease fires. Never use water.
Just remove the pan from heat and cover it with a metal pan lid.

1. Have several ways to extinguish and escape fires. Have fire extinguishers available throughout your restaurant so staff and patrons do not have to waste precious “life or death” minutes searching for one to put out the flames. In addition, have clear, visible exit signs that are easily seen to help restaurant goers get to safety—fast.
2. Have a plan. Create and post a fire evacuation plan that is easily seen by all restaurant goers and workers so they know where to go in case of emergency. These vivid, clear instructions can save their life.
Philadelphia restaurants are often signature venues in our wonderful “city of neighborhoods.” Kitchen fire safety, equipment training, fire escape and extinguisher practices can help keep your staff and patrons healthy, and your doors open for the long haul.

Restaurant fire safety best practices can help save lives—and restaurants like yours.

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