Pubs Bars Clubs Fire PROTECtion AND Safety

Looking after people and property for licensed premises managers

Pubs, Bars and Clubs Fire PROTECtion AND Safety

Why is fire protection in Pubs, Bars and Clubs so important?

Fire protection and fire safety is paramount in facilities such as pubs, bars and clubs. Crowding and intoxication may mean that customers and staff are vulnerable in an emergency situation. This means that it is critical for good signage and staff training to help others when there is an emergency.

Advice for pubs and clubs.

If you own or manage licensed premises, there are fire safety measures that you need to take into account. Here’s what you need to know.

If you’re responsible for licensed premises (pubs, clubs or bars) there are specific areas of fire safety you need to really pay attention to.

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What causes fires in licensed premises?

While we don’t have up to date statistics for Sydney or NSW, in  London, for the three years from 2015-2017

  • 50% of fires in pubs started with either cooking or smoking
  • 44% of fires in restaurants started with cooking

In pubs, bars and clubs, escape planning is particularly important. Do you know how you would safely and quickly evacuate on a busy Friday night?

They also may lack awareness of their surroundings. This may be due to lack of familiarity with layout, poor illumination and the effect of alcohol. Noise from loud music may also make audible alarms and instructions difficult to hear. All these help fully able individuals to detect an emergency fire situation. Sober people may see flame or smoke, hear an alarm or smell smoke. However, when you may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may struggle to see or hear, you may not even be aware of danger.

And, how would you help customers with mobility issues?

On this page, we’ll take a closer look at the risks and what you can do to reduce them. We also provide advice about creating an emergency plan that will help make sure everyone can get to safety if there is a fire.

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How to provide appropriate care – fire risks to watch out for

The first step to improving your fire prevention strategy is identifying where things can go wrong. Here are some common factors in the licensed premises that experience fires.

Common fire risks in bars, pubs and clubs

  1. Electrical faults: these often happen when no one properly tests and maintains portable items. Or when the electrical system itself isn’t in good condition. This is common in older buildings or where unlicensed electrical work takes place.
  2. Electrical equipment and pyrotechnics: we see many fires where lighting or fireworks are too close to flammable materials. For example, the 2003 Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island, USA, resulted in the deaths of 100 people. The fire happened when pyrotechnics set off by the tour manager of the evening’s headlining band, Great White, ignited flammable acoustic foam in the walls and ceilings surrounding the stage.
  3. Smoking: Yes, even in the 21st Century people are still smoking, despite the health hazards and the advent of e-cigarettes. Patrons or staff may dispose carelessly smoking materials. Perhaps you allow smoking in inappropriate areas. The Bradford City football stadium fire and the King’s Cross London Underground station fires in the 1980s had fuel in the form of accumulated rubbish. However, in both cases ignition came about by a discarded cigarette.
  4. Arson: If you store stock, recyclables or garbage in a publicly accessible place, this increases your risk. Perhaps your staff ejected someone from your premises. A disgruntled person, especially one under the influence of alcohol or drugs, may take an opportunity to get revenge by starting a fire. Or perhaps a current or ex-employee has a grudge against management. A competitor may think such an attack is a way of putting you out of business. Or maybe all you need is a thrill seeking pyromaniac.
Fire Emergency Evacuation Exit Escape Blocked Sydney
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Why does fire safety matter?

  1. It is the right thing to do. You are risking peoples’ lives if you don’t.
  2. It’s the law. You can go to prison and face fines if you don’t meet your legal obligations.
  3. Many venues don’t recover after a fire. Despite insurance, the loss of property, disruption to staffing and loss of custom during an outage can deal a death blow to a business. This is why planning ahead and reducing risks makes good business sense for you. A good Business Continuity Plan is essential.

Emergency planning risks

Poor escape planning is common in licensed premises. Do you know how your customers will escape? What about other people in the building? As well as fire safety risks, there are some extra areas for concern, including

  1. Staff training: does everyone on your staff know how to put your emergency plan into action? High staff turnover can mean that there is a loss of intellectual capital. In simple terms, knowledge isn’t passed on between generations of staff.
  2. Lack of  fire drills: Have you really prepared your staff? Are they up to the job of managing a large and potentially intoxicated crowd? In a situation where panic may happen?
  3. Inadequate staffing: Do you have enough people to support an evacuation strategy?
  4. Difficult escape routes: Do you have quirky layouts? Is your business underground or in a loft or rooftop? Accordingly, your emergency plan needs careful consideration.
  5. Blocked or locked exits. Perhaps you have limited room in your premises. Often the clear path to an exit is a tempting place for the temporary or permanent storage of stock, equipment or garbage. If you have a cover charge or exclusionary door policies based on age, dress, gender or appearance, then staff may lock fire exits in order to prevent unsupervised entry by patrons. The Bradford City Football Club tragedy in the 80s was exacerbated by exits that were padlocked shut. This prevented fans from escaping the fire.
  6. Escape routes for neighbours and tenants: It’s important to consider how people in accommodation above any licensed premises might escape.

What does the law say?

Legislation makes the following mandatory:

  • sprinkler systems,
  • smoke alarms,
  • emergency exit signs

These must properly operate. Other safety measures include:

  • clear pathways to exits,
  • proper training of staff,
  • and good maintenance of fire protection features

Restaurants, cafes and other establishments where there is food preparation are workplaces that are at a high risk from fire. This is due to the potential of combustibles in close proximity to hot surfaces and open flames. The most common fires involve unattended cooking, overheating of cooking oil or fat, and the ignition of fatty residues within range hoods and ducting. See our kitchen fire suppression page for more information.

Use this checklist, along with your Business Continuity Plan to prepare your restaurant in the event of a fire.

Tips for safer kitchens

  • Train your staff in maintaining clear fire exits, workplace fire safety, evacuation procedures and when to call 000.
  • Maintain routine cleaning and inspection of kitchen range hoods, ducting, and grease fans. About 80% of food preparation establishments hire contractors to maintain grease filters etc.
  • You must include disposal of combustible waste products in your maintenance program. Ensuring garbage and recyclables go in appropriate containers with close fitting lids.
  • Ensure all grills, ovens, cookers and fryers etc. have thermostats. They must get service and cleaning as recommended by manufacturers.
  • Don’t store combustible liquids under or near grills, ovens, cookers and fryers etc. Blocking exits with anything is bad but combustible liquids is a particular no-no.
  • Turn off all equipment when no-one is at the business. With the exception of gas pilot lights.
  • Larger cooking and food preparation facilities should get  automatic wet chemical systems for deep fryers. Wet chemical fire extinguishers and fire blankets should also supplement this system, and also applies to smaller facilities. Ensure that the appropriate fire extinguishers and fire blankets are in an easily accessible location and not near vats and hot plates. They must be in good working order and checked as per Australian Standards.

Continuity tips

  • Workers who may have to use fire equipment should get training in how to use it. They need to know what type of fire extinguishers to use for different types of fires. If you feel your staff require training or you need assistance with emergency procedures, contact us.
  • Develop a Business Continuity Plan to ensure that your business may recover following the impact of a workplace fire. Always ensure that your business has sufficient fire insurance coverage.

In an Emergency Call Triple Zero (000)

Australian Standard AS3745 requires that there be a properly written emergency response procedure manual in place at each facility. These manuals include:

for all facility areas.

These and other regulations ensure  pub club and bar fire protection.

Who completes the FIRE SAFETY certificates and statements?

The Fire Safety Certificates and Annual Fire Safety Statements can only have sign-off by the owner or their agent and not by the Accredited Practitioner Fire Safety technician. This places an immense legal obligation on the signer.

HOW DO WE HELP Pubs clubs bars Fire Protection compliancE?


Why should pubs clubs bars  managers choose us?

We have insight into the expectations of pubs, clubs and bar managers. To this end, we developed and will deliver an licensed premises specific package that is more attractive than our competitors.

We have over many years specialized in the hospitality industry. Our staff speak to pubs, clubs and bars everyday. We understand the needs of of licensed premises managers,  your policies and ways of doing business. By doing so, we add value to that essential fire protection.

We understand the dynamics of dealing with your patrons. Your need to grapple with the Licensing Legislation, while dealing with the wants and needs of your customers. You want to minimize risks for all, while not exceeding price expectations.

Contact us today to find out more.

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Durasteel fire door stainless steel Industrial grade passive fire protection rated hydrocarbon curve blast resistance
Inspection of fire extinguisher

What fire safety measures do licensed premises need?

Fire safety measures are systems, equipment and protocols  that protect people and property when an uncontrolled fire occurs. Redmen supplies, installs and maintains these measures, which include:

In the initial stages of any aged care development, we also advise on passive fire construction or Passive fire protection (PFP) or fire stopping. This depends on compartmentation of fire and preventing collapse through structural fire resistance. Some include fire-resistant construction materials in this category.

Every venue requires its own unique blend of fire safety measures. We provide a customized design that fits your property’s needs.

Our low cost fire protection maintenance package will then take care of most of your fire safety needs in the future.

Training pubs, clubs and bars Staff In Fire Safety Procedures

The best equipment is not all that a pubs, clubs and bars fire protection plan needs to provide. It must also ensure that staff get training in evacuation procedures so that panic does not happen in an emergency situation.

When a smoke alarm sounds, every staff member should know exactly what to do. The first thing to do is to call 000 if necessary to ensure that the professional fire fighters are on the way.

Staff will have to quickly decide whether to evacuate the customers. To do this they must first locate the source of the smoke. Based on the location and scale of the fire, they then decide whether to fight and try to contain the fire, or to evacuate the premises.

Staff fire safety training should happen upon hiring and then at regular intervals after that. Each staff member should have access to the facility emergency response manual. They then need to familiarize themselves with it.

Fire Safety Training should cover these points. Every staff member needs to be able to

  • properly use fire blankets and fire extinguishers.
  • unfurl a fire hose reel and aim the nozzle at the fire correctly.
  • meet the Building Fire Safety Regulation requirements.

Some staff need appointment as fire safety officers and get extra training. In addition, the fire wardens

  • must be able to identify the alarm zones from the fire panel.
  • must have a fire evacuation pack that they can quickly access. This includes a torch, whistle, horn, first aid kit, instructions, and an up-to-date list of employees.
  • Regular fire emergency and evacuation exercises must happen regularly involving all staff.

In addition to the training and fire safety equipment, keep all patron areas safe from fire hazards such as:

  • small electrical appliances,
  • furniture that could act as an obstacle,
  • and inflammables like paper goods.

Meeting all these safety standards and training requirements can ensure a safe facility. For more information on pubs, clubs and bars fire protection, contact us today

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Experienced Team

For more than 20 years, we’ve been protecting Australians and their business.

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Together with you, we create the protection that considers all of your needs.

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You’ll receive the highest quality products and services, at the very best prices.

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Call us at 1300 733 636 or contact us for your free quote.

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