Restaurants, cafés and takeaways

If you are responsible for a food businesses fire safety – such as a restaurant, cafe or takeaway – there are specific risks and areas of fire safety that you should pay attention to.

Fire Risk Assessments 

To keep your people safe – and yourself within the law – make sure you have a Fire Risk Assessment. Visit our Fire Risk Assessment page for more information. 

Common fire risks in food businesses: 

Electrical fires 

To help avoid electrical fires, ensure portable appliances are regularly tested through Portable Appliance Testing (PAT). You should also ensure that electrical installation is up to standard and that plug sockets are not overloaded. 

Cooking fires 

When cooking, avoid overheating oil and ensure that appliances are not left on. You should never leave cooking unattended. 

Smoke and heat spreading 

To avoid smoke and heat spreading, there should be adequate separation between commercial units and residential accommodation above. Any gaps or holes should be suitably stopped, and fire doors should never be wedged open. 

Tumble dryers 

To avoid tumble dryer related fires, ensure they are well maintained, and lint regularly cleaned. 

Escape routes 

Ensure that escape routes are clear, this includes making sure rubbish and storage are stored appropriately without blocking these routes or exits. Rubbish should be managed well and regularly removed from the premises. 


Ducts, or conduits and passages used in heating, ventilation and air conditioning to deliver and remove air, must be regularly cleaned to avoid fire risk.

Fire doors 

Fire doors stop the spread of heat and smoke in the event of a fire. Without them, people in the building may not be able to evacuate when necessary due to smoke logging and high temperatures in escape routes. 

You must: 

  1. Check that fire doors are not being wedged open. 
  1. Regularly check door closing devices haven’t been tampered with or become defective. 

Read more about fire door safety.

Emergency plans 

An effective emergency plan will help your people know what to do if there is a fire. Do you know how you would safely and quickly evacuate every person in your premises? 

It is your responsibility to keep people safe if there is a fire. 

You are required by law to make a fire emergency plan for your food business, so your people can keep themselves and residents safe in the event of a fire. 

Visit our Emergency Planning page for more information and advice.

Government guidance 

For more information including simple and practical advice to assist responsible persons with fire safety in small non-domestic premises – such as food businesses like restaurants, cafes and takeaways – that have simple layouts, low fire risk, with limited fire hazards and a small number of employees, customers, and visitors. 

Visit the GOV.UK guide for guidance and recommendation to support you in applying fire safety legislation, including advice about completing a fire safety risk assessment.  

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