What is a fire safety workplace culture? Recently, the term “workplace culture” has become very trendy. In general, workplace culture refers to the way things are done at your workplace. When coupled with fire safety, it captures the mindsets, attitudes, and behaviors of workers, supervisors, managers, and owners towards emergency preparedness in the workplace. Fire losses incurred today in terms of life, property, and environmental are still a great cause of concern for restaurants. In many cases, these tragic events occurred due to negligence rather than ignorance. A fire safety culture is a vital part of prevention!

People conform to the way things are done by those they look up to. This is why management’s commitment to the development of a fire safety culture plays such a large role in its overall adoption in the work place. You may find the idea of building or changing your restaurant’s fire safety culture daunting because the “way it is” at your workplace has fallen into a pattern of complacency. The effects of complacency can be catastrophic: accidents, injuries, illnesses, even loss of life could result. Don’t allow this to happen in your workplace.

Creating and fostering an effective fire safety culture requires instituting a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices. Restaurants should do a self-evaluation, determine what they need to change, plan on how to accomplish the changes, and invest in the effort. Above all, senior leadership must uphold these changes and set an example.  Here are essential tips to help you establish a strong and positive fire safety culture in your restaurant.

Management should commit to carrying out a comprehensive fire risk assessment with the help of an expert, like an Authority Having Jurisdiction, to analyze the risk fully and plan accordingly. Create a fire safety policy with accompanying procedures to map out the fire safety strategy of the restaurant. Communication is fundamental when building a positive fire safety culture. Have your fire safety policy completed and available electronically and on paper. Clearly establish your restaurants’ best practices and expectations. The best way to start building a fire safety culture is to hold weekly or monthly safety talks. Engage your employees by asking them to lead the fire safety talks.

Provide Training

Training employees demonstrates your commitment to safety.  Training should drive emergency preparedness and ensure that the entire workforce knows the basic steps to take in the event of a fire situation. By providing training, employees will embrace the fire safety culture more readily because they are aware of the hazards and the effect that they can have on maintaining workplace safety. Review key messages from training sessions often to reinforce learning.

Lead by Example

Lead by example by following all safety policies and encouraging employees to do the same. Sometimes managers show bad examples by not attending fire safety training, not participating in drills, and not enforcing the fire safety policy. When management commits to safety, employees will follow suit. Employee buy-in is crucial to a positive fire safety culture. Workers won’t buy-in to safety rules if they don’t see policies and procedures being followed by their superiors. Safety is more than talking the talk—it is walking the walk.

Develop and Implement a Reporting Process

Reward employees who regularly check and report fire safety hazards or concerns. Create checklists for high-risk areas like the hood, ducts, and rooftops! Involve employees in the reporting process! Ask them what they would like the reporting process to look like and get their feedback on your current communication methods. A positive fire safety culture will be much easier to build and maintain when employees feel comfortable reporting concerns and believe that the reporting process is positive. Reinforce the reporting by resolving noted areas of concern quickly and efficiently.

When you develop a fire safety culture that displays an understanding of the risks of fire and how to prevent them, you protect more than just a building from the devastation of fire; you’re protecting people’s lives. If you have any questions regarding Omni Containment System’s products, contact us today. We would be happy to educate you on our fire prevention products and equipment.