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Restaurant Fire Inspection Survival Guide

Local fire departments perform annual checks to ensure compliance with fire code. This is especially important for restaurants, who deal with open flames as part of the job. Inspections are essential to make sure that the fire stays where it is supposed to. Here are some tips from the Maple Plain Fire Department on keeping your kitchen up to code to pass a fire inspection with ease.


Documentation Is Important

Inspections are unscheduled to make sure that the fire marshal sees your kitchen as it operates day-to-day. Documentation is one thing that you can always have prepared. Gather past inspections for review to show what met or failed compliance, and how you fixed it. Make sure you document any maintenance you have done, and when you last performed upkeep on fire prevention systems. Having this paperwork on hand will start the inspection off on the right foot.


Helping With The Inspection

When the fire marshal arrives, you should accompany them through the inspection. Make sure you have keys to all areas so that they can accurately inspect the business. Taking notes is a good idea and will help you remember the specific thoughts on how to make your business compliant. Here are some of the things the fire marshal will be inspecting:

  • Electrical: One of the leading causes of fire in any business is bad wiring, but this can be especially dangerous in a restaurant. Exposed or frayed wires can start a fire. Make sure that all electrical panels and wires are covered and maintained. Also, remember that extension cords are for temporary power and must be grounded. All power strips must be surge-protected and plugged directly into a wall outlet.
  • Exits: It is important that if a fire does break out, customers and employees have clear pathways to exit. This means that nothing should be stored in front of or block off an emergency exit. All exits should have emergency lights in case of power outages and have illuminated signs to signal their location.
  • Fire Suppression Systems: Ansel systems, fire extinguishers and all other forms of fire prevention/suppression will be checked. Have you had the required maintenance done? Are all the chemicals still active? The fire marshal should also check all fire alarms to ensure they are operational.
  • Combustible Materials: Gas, oil, and other fuel needs to be stored properly to ensure they aren’t a hazard. This can be tricky in a kitchen, but there are best practices for it. Employees should stow away and catalog any flammable cleaning materials for the marshal.


After the inspection, the fire marshal should tell you what needs to be updated for compliance. Usually, these are small fixes. For larger fixes, the marshal will give your business time, as long as you are showing progress unless the problem is directly threatening employees or customers. With this list, you won’t have to dread inspections. They should be quick, easy and informative to keep everyone safe. If you have any further questions or would like more information on inspections, contact the Maple Plain Fire Department at 763-479-0515.