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Safety and hygiene are two key pieces regarding industrial kitchens (bars and restaurants, hospitals, hotels or education centres among others) due to the high volume of work as well as the great number of people that have to be assisted by this sector day after day.

Kitchens are places having a propensity to accidents, not only because objects such as knives or scissors are manipulated, but also and especially due to the use of fire, which may spring up quickly in other areas, thus posing a danger to people, as well as to the establishment. Due precisely to the high risk existing in these workplaces, safety becomes a fully essential element, upon which all efforts need to be focused and current valid regulations have to be met conscientiously.

In order to guarantee safety in industrial kitchens, special attention has to be paid to a series of elements that are described below.

Facilities

It is at the design stage of the facilities where the first measures in matters of safety need to be taken. Here is where we need to decide and evaluate the location of each element that will be part of the kitchen, as well as gas and electricity essentials, avoiding, for instance, that power outlets are close to water source points.

With a view to avoid possible accidents, it is absolutely necessary that the existing pieces of equipment (kitchen, electric fryers, barbecues, burners, ovens, range hoods…) are in a perfect state, so that they pass the pertinent revisions and are approved.

Fire prevention is another major point where most emphasis has to be put on regarding industrial kitchens, since they are considered as special risk premises when their power surpasses the 20kW limit. Kitchens exceeding such power have to comply with several requirements in order to avoid fires derived from their activity.

Ventilation and fume extraction are also one of the most important aspects within an industrial kitchen. Fume extraction hoods are elements absolutely paramount, as they are responsible for removing steams produced by the kitchen, which contain oil and fat particles. These extraction systems have to guarantee fume evacuation at high temperatures, and their air ventilator or hood has to be capable of resisting flame, heat and gas passage during a particular time. Thanks to the use of extraction systems, proper air quality is guaranteed, removing or reducing considerably suspended particles in air and polluting agents.

On the other hand, industrial kitchens need to have automatic fire suppression systems (sprinklers), which activate when they detect a particular temperature, and they turn on so as to release water, making possible the extinction of the fire at its most emerging stages, as well as preventing the premises from burning at their fullest.

Besides possessing all the above mentioned prevention equipment, it also becomes essential in these workplaces to install fire-resistant automatic doors. Manusa fire-resistant doors fulfil their clear mission, that of separating zones acting as a barrier between the area where a fire might have started, and the rest of the rooms, preventing fire from spreading away from its zone of origin. Fire-resistant doors, besides accomplishing automatic doors own functionality, constitute a barrier themselves, impeding the passage of smoke and fire gases for a certain time, and slowing down as well temperature loss at the front of the door not exposed to flames. In this way, clients’ safety is demarcated and guaranteed, as well as that of employees and the different existing spaces within one same building.

Apart from fire-resistant doors, it is also advisable to install doors with panic break-out system, because when the evacuation of an establishment becomes necessary, they make the width of passage higher in case of emergency, since they allow sliding and fixed leaves to be folded at the side of the door by a simple manual push force, thus enabling the evacuation of the establishment in a short space of time and maximising in this way safety within the facilities. These doors offer the functionality of conventional automatic doors plus the safety warranty offered when it comes to evacuate the facilities.

According to the lining of establishments, they also have to meet a set of requirements, which is to say, we have to avoid elements that would facilitate fire spreading, such as carpets, curtains, wallpaper, upholstery, parquet flooring, etc.

Finally, we would like to emphasise that it is absolutely mandatory that kitchens have an emergency and evacuation plan, which implies having proper signing, fire detection and extinction elements duly authorised, and kitchen personnel correctly trained in matters of labour risk prevention.

Thanks to proper compliance with the current legislation and to the installation of anti-fire systems, safety in kitchens is increased, as well as that of clients and employees, making the experience much more gratifying for all the people involved.