Only four of 15 restaurants and pubs in Tallinn's Old Town selected for inspections by the Rescue Board fully complied with basic safety requirements, ETV reported.
Fire safety inspectors made their rounds at midday on Wednesday.
"On the blitz I accompanied, we visited five restaurants and violations were found in all of them. Administrative proceedings were launched in one case and misdemeanor proceedings in four cases," said Indrek Hirs, spokesman for the Rescue Board.
The main problems were lack of emergency lights, fewer than the required number of fire extinguishers and lack of records on ventilation duct cleaning.
The establishments will be given a chance to comply before being fined, Hirs said.
"Recently there have been a few larger fires originating from ventilation systems, and we focused on food and drink establishments where we checked ventilation shafts, whether evacuation paths were clear and also construction of outdoor streetside seating areas," said Ants Aguraiuja, a Rescue Board official.