Common Causes Of Fire In The Hospitality Industry
Posted: 22/05/2024
5 minute read
Common causes of fire in the hospitality industry - Surrey Tech Services


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Common Causes Of Fire In The Hospitality Industry

587 primary fires in hotels and 1,362 fires in food and drink establishments in England in the year ending 2023 should serve as a stark warning for all businesses.

The risk of fire never goes away and, sadly, it can cost lives. 190 casualties in those two hospitality sectors alone last year, along with two fatalities, mean that everyone needs to be doing more to promote fire safety best practices.

This month at Surrey Tech Services Ltd, we’re going to help by highlighting the common causes of fires in hospitality settings. Hopefully, this can generate awareness within the sector to help keep people safe and protect businesses.

Common causes of fire in the hospitality industry - Surrey Tech Services


The causes of fires in the hospitality industry

Causes of fire in the hospitality industry - Surrey Tech Services

Due to a multitude of materials, guests and building complexities, there are many ways fires can break out in hospitality, but here are some of the most common causes:

Cooking equipment 

Most hospitality settings will feature some form of cooking equipment. From large restaurant kitchens to the odd bit of equipment in a pub, careful attention should be paid to cooking equipment.

  • Never leave equipment unattended
  • Provide proper training for all staff
  • Keep flammables away from heat sources and flames

Have a wet chemical extinguisher nearby for oil and grease fires


Whether you have a television on the wall to entertain guests or a laundry facility within your building, electrical appliances are also a fire hazard when they’re not well-maintained and inspected regularly. Misuse of electrical equipment or sockets can also cause electrical fires.

  • Schedule PAT testing for all your electrical equipment
  • Have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) at least every 5 years
  • Turn off appliances when not in use
  • Provide staff training on the proper use of appliances


Hospitality settings are likely to contain smoking areas somewhere on the premises. This presents an ignition source, creating a risk if cigarettes are not properly disposed of. It’s especially dangerous if staff or guests take it upon themselves to smoke inside the building.

  • Make sure all guests and staff are informed of the rules on smoking
  • Create a designated smoking area away from any potential fuels
  • Provide cigarette bins to allow smokers to put out cigarettes safely
  • Install smoke alarms in rooms to detect any smoking 


Sadly, some fires are started deliberately. This could be opportunistic vandals or disgruntled ex-employees, but there are ways you can minimise the opportunity for these people to carry out an arson attack, thereby protecting your business.

  • Keep restricted areas locked and secure
  • Make sure any employees who leave return their keys/access fobs
  • Install CCTV to deter thieves and vandals
  • Secure waste to avoid giving arsonists fuel to start a fire


Fire hazards in hotels 

Fire hazards in hotels - Surrey Tech Services

With many rooms and a high turnover of guests almost every single day, there are some unique challenges for hotels when it comes to fire hazards. These include:

  • Flammables – including furniture, upholstery, carpets and rugs
  • Heating – including space heaters and central heating systems
  • Laundry areas – including heat from machinery and a buildup of lint in dryers
  • Waste – including combustible materials in rooms and in staff areas
  • Temporary events – including electrical and stage equipment in conference areas

Hotels also face issues with keeping fire exits clear, since at any given moment the whole building may need to be evacuated in an emergency. This means ensuring there are no trolleys, stock or waste items blocking corridors and evacuation routes. 


How to prevent fires in hospitality 

Fires in any business can cause significant losses and could result in closure if the fire is severe. So don’t take risks, follow some of our tips on how to prevent fires in hospitality:

  • Book a fire risk assessment – Having a fire risk assessment from a professional, like our team at Surrey Tech Services Ltd, can help analyse your current fire safety provisions and recommend actions where improvements are needed.
  • Install and maintain a fire alarm – Getting the right fire alarm system is crucial in hospitality, as it provides an early warning so that large numbers of people can evacuate safely and calmly.
  • Utilise fire stopping – Whether you own a hotel or a restaurant, you’re likely to have contractors carrying out work from time to time. This can compromise the structure of your building if gaps or non-fire-resistant materials are used. Fire stopping can help restore compartmentalisation within your building to prevent the rapid spread of fire.
  • Get the right fire extinguishers – Having the right extinguishers on hand to meet different risks can be crucial in stopping a small fire from becoming a bigger, more deadly one. For example, CO2 extinguishers should be in place where there are electrical risks and wet chemical extinguishers allow for kitchen staff to safely tackle oil and grease fires. Our team can help you get the right number and type of extinguishers for your building no matter what area of the hospitality sector you work in.

Surrey Tech Services provide fire protection services in the hospitality industry

With our expert, qualified team, you can get assistance with all aspects of fire safety for your hospitality business. We cover all of the above and more to help you save lives and prevent a loss of business, and we also ensure you meet your legal obligations in accordance with various regulations in the UK. 

Call today and book an appointment with our specialist team or get more information and advice wherever you are in London and the Home Counties – including Maidenhead, Slough and Guildford.

    Protect your business premises today

    Call us now on 08081 689 497 to find out more about our fire alarm design, installation and maintenance services.