Among the many hazards that are present in a restaurant, electrical accidents can be the most dangerous. Just like any other hazard that can be found in a restaurant, there are mitigation tactics to keep electrical accidents at a minimum. But before we go into the prevention part, let’s talk about the sources of electrical risks in a restaurant:
- Frayed or damaged electrical cords
- Improper use of equipment
- Appliances or equipment with faulty wiring
- Outlets near wet or damp areas
- Overloading sockets
These are just some of the causes of electrical accidents (e.g. shock, fire, explosion, etc.) that can happen in a restaurant. Many electrical contractors in Salt Lake City and other major hotspots for restaurants recommend the following safety measures:
1. Provide enough safety training
One of the best ways to mitigate electrical hazards in a restaurant is to train your staff about the proper safety procedures. With every new employee that is hired, electrical safety should be part of their onboarding manual. While this seems like a no-brainer, you would be surprised at how many people get electrically shocked when they handle wiring the wrong way or pass a wet rag over a socket.
2. Conduct regular inspections
In a busy place like a restaurant, electrical wiring can easily get worn down. Make sure you inspect cords and cables thoroughly, especially those that are on the most frequently used equipment. If you see signs of damage like fraying or cracking, replace the cord immediately before allowing the equipment to be used again.
It’s also highly recommended that you call in an electrician to conduct a thorough inspection every once in a while. You may have the keenest eye, but only an expert can tell if there’s something wrong with your wiring.
3. Remove cords from walkways
Cords that run through walkways can easily get damaged due to high traffic. Instead of running them through the floors, put them on the ceilings or walls.
4. Monitor your equipment and appliances
When your equipment or appliances have faulty wiring, they have a chance of shocking the user or starting a fire in the restaurant. To avoid this hazard, do maintenance checks on all of your equipment on a regular basis. If there are broken or poorly performing equipment, have them repaired or replaced right away.
5. Have an emergency procedure in place
When an electrical accident does happen in your restaurant, make sure your employees know what to do. For example, if an exposed wire starts a fire, employees should know how to cut off the main power. Then, they should know how to use the fire extinguisher and know when they should exit the building and call emergency services.
Keep a list of emergency contact numbers on the walls of your kitchen, dining area, staff room, and office, at the very least.
Because restaurants have a lot of equipment, appliances, wiring, and wet surfaces, the risk for electrical accidents is high. Fortunately, you can minimize these risks as much as possible with the safety procedures highlighted above.