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Pub fires, what are the risks?

Sep 14, 2023

There is a massive potential for fire in pubs. Each year there are numerous fires in public houses, many of which could be avoided. Fire risk assessment is the key to fire prevention in public houses. Fires destroy lives, property and business. Many pubs are also people’s homes so a fire can also destroy these too. It is vital to ensure your pub is safe.

The recent news of the fire at the Crooked House Pub, which caused it to be destroyed, has led to a number of pubs and clubs contacting JCH Safety for help with fire risk assessments. As a result, I thought it would be a good idea to put a blog together about fire risk in pubs and working men’s clubs and to give some simple guidance about how to improve safety.

What are the potential sources of fire in a pub?

As with all buildings, there are many potential sources for a fire in a pub.

Potential sources of fire include:

  • smoking
  • kitchen fires
  • arson
  • faulty electrics
  • fluorescent lighting
  • log burners and open fires
  • poor quality furniture
  • lack of training / human error
  • excessive build up of rubbish

How to protect your pub from fire?

It is important to keep your pub in a fire safe condition. This protects your livelihood, your customers and most importantly the lives of the people who frequent it. Here are some suggestions for how to keep your pub or club safe:

  • Carry out a fire risk assessment each year and implement the findings
  • Have a 5 year fixed wiring inspection carried out periodically and get your wiring visually inspected each year by a competent person
  • Have all your portable electrical items PAT tested each year
  • Get your gas systems inspected every 12 months
  • Have your chimney swept every year (open fires and log burners)
  • Keep your escape routes clear and don’t lock fire exits when the pub is open
  • Maintain your emergency lighting, test it regularly and get it serviced
  • Keep your fire alarm serviced and test it each week
  • Carry out regular fire drills
  • Train your staff in basic fire awareness and appoint fire marshals
  • Have arrangements in place for the evacuation of disabled people
  • Have a Fire Policy in place

What action to take now?

Make sure you have a fire risk assessment dated in the last 12 months. If you have not reviewed your fire risk assessment in this timescale, arrange for it to be done asap. Make sure it was carried out by a competent person, such as someone who is third party accredited by the IFSM.

JCH Safety are third party accredited fire risk assessors and health and safety advisors. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more.