Restaurant fires destroy more than property. Restaurants hold priceless memories of celebrations and firsts, meetings with important people, backgrounds for special announcements or the reliable spot to pick up favorite weekday takeout meals. With a fire, they all go up in smoke—literally. Restaurant fires can be devastating, not only to the owners and patrons, but to the employees as well.
Nearly 8,000 restaurant fires occur each year resulting in $165 million in property damage. According to the NFPA, cooking equipment was the leading cause of restaurant fires (61%), electrical equipment (9%), heating equipment (9%), and smoking materials (7%). What’s the best way to protect your restaurant from a fire? Understand the dangers and prevention measures you can take to skirt disaster in your dining or takeout establishment.
Exhaust Systems and Ductwork
The vents and fans behind ovens and stoves accumulate a buildup of grease. Since the vents and fans extract flammable vapors, a spark can light grease buildup. Oven hoods above stoves, can also harbor flammable vapors from contaminated cooking air. This can feed through the exhaust system and cause a fire hazard. Also included in these systems are grease traps. Most commercial kitchens are required to maintain a grease trap preventing oils and fats from clogging sewers.
- Clean all areas daily
- Twice a year, have a thorough hood cleaning by professionals
- Clean grease traps monthly, quarterly, or yearly as mandated by the NFPA
Gas leaks are the most catastrophic cause of restaurant fires because they cause an explosion. Gas leaks occur when faulty equipment is unable to support the flow of gas and leaks flammable gas in the air. A simple electrical device can ignite the gas and lead to an explosion.
- Be alert and detect the signs of a gas leak (gas smell, orange/yellow flames, extinguished pilot lights)
- Perform equipment inspections daily and replacement of worn out equipment
Heat from unsafe or poor wiring in switches, sockets, or plugs can spark flammable or combustible materials. Overloading outlets, outdated wiring, and overpowering kitchen equipment can lead to a fire or even explosion.
- Use only commercial equipment that is up-to-code
- Update wiring that can handle a busy kitchen
In the unfortunate event a restaurant fire occurs, a fire suppression system is your best protection. A restaurant fire suppression system is designed to provide fire protection for restaurant cooking appliances, exhaust hoods, and ducts. A fire suppression system detects fires through heat sensors, often before the kitchen staff does. When automatically discharged, the fire can be suppressed at its earliest stages. The result is minimal damage to the kitchen and minimal equipment down time.
Keep your restaurant kitchen safe from fires by properly installing and maintaining a working fire suppression system and empowering employees with fire safety and response training. It can mean the difference between a localized fire and a major blaze.
If you’re ready to safeguard your kitchen from a restaurant fire, Complete Fire Design Solutions can test, service, and install fire suppression systems. CFDS also provides first aid and fire extinguisher training on-site. Give us a call today and let our professionals provide “Complete” assurance your restaurant is protected from fire. Call us at 98250 79730