By their nature, restaurants have an enhanced risk of fire. Cooking equipment that utilize open flames, electric appliances, cooking oils, cleaning chemicals and paper products all contribute to a higher than average fire risk. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), almost 8,000 restaurants report a fire every year. Since over 60% of businesses that experience a fire never reopen, restaurant fire protection is quite important. Fireline is the region’s leader in the design, installation, and inspection of restaurant fire suppression systems.
Here are some things restaurants and food service facilities can do to prevent or minimize the chance of fire.
- Install an automatic fire suppression system to protect your kitchen exhaust hood and cooking appliances. These systems utilize a wet chemical fire extinguishing agent that helps to prevent reflash of the fire. Activation of the system will automatically shut down the fuel supply or electricity to the cooking appliances. These systems must be inspected every six (6) months by a licensed fire protection contractor.
- Install portable fire extinguishers in accordance with NFPA Standards. Class K fire extinguishers must be in all commercial kitchens. These extinguishers are designed to be used on fires involving grease, cooking oils and fats that burn at high temperatures. Make sure you have ABC fire extinguishers (paper, wood, plastic, electrical equipment) properly located throughout the other areas of the restaurant.
- Make sure the exhaust hood is cleaned on a regular basis. NFPA standards mandate regular cleaning intervals for all kitchen hood exhaust equipment. This is one of the most important fire safety efforts a restaurant can perform.
- Schedule regular maintenance inspections on all cooking equipment. Be aware of frayed electrical cords or wiring, broken or inoperable switches, gas leaks or combustible materials stored near cooking equipment.
- Train all staff in on the proper use of portable fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers can keep a small fire from becoming a large fire. Fireline offers live fire training for portable fire extinguishers. Fire extinguisher training is a wise investment.
- Practice good housekeeping. Clean up grease. Store flammable liquids properly. Clean up trash. Keep paper products, linens, boxes, and cleaning supplies away from cooking equipment.