Friday, June 14, 2019

BESA Kick-starts Fire Safety Campaign Following Preventable Aldgate Blaze

BESA will kick start a national campaign to strengthen fire safety protocols, specifically with regard to the correct installation and maintenance of ventilation systems in commercial kitchens.
On Tuesday a fast food restaurant below residential flats in Aldgate, London went up in flames in an accident believed to be caused by an unattended charcoal grill that ignited food. Most of the restaurant and the ducting from the ground floor to roof level were damaged by the fire. There was also minor damage to flats on the first and second floor but fortunately, no injuries.
The London Fire Brigade has warned that the Aldgate fire was a timely reminder to ensure cooking is not left unattended and that restaurant and take-away owners should also always take care to make sure their extraction systems are kept clean as a build-up of fat and grease within the filters can lead to a fire.
BESA CEO David Frise said: ‘This type of incident is a perfect example of why it’s vital we highlight in a national campaign.’
‘Fortunately no-one was harmed in Aldgate but the Grenfell tragedy demonstrated how quickly a quality or compliance failure can cause disaster. People living above commercial kitchens need confidence that the businesses operating underneath them are proactive in safety.’
BESA will be taking a leading role and will meet with industry and political stakeholders to campaign for action on strong, new fire safety protocols for commercial kitchens so that these easily avoidable losses of life and property do not occur.
BESA and its members are already leading the way by spearheading the development of higher standards and compliance. For example, BESA’s TR19 is a specific standard covering vent hygiene best practice. In addition, BESCA, BESA’s independent audit arm, have also developed Vent Hygiene Elite (VHE) which is a scheme specifically designed to certify contractors who demonstrate the high standards of installation and maintenance outlined in TR19.

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