Restaurants and their hot equipment, open flames, cooking oils and electrical connections have all the ingredients for a fire. Each year, 8,000 eateries report a fire. These fires account for an annual average of $250 million in property damage. A fire will devastate your restaurant and may even lead to closure. To be safe, you must take steps to prevent fires or minimize their damage.
Installing a fire suppression system in the kitchen is absolutely critical as nearly 60 percent of all fires involve cooking equipment. Fire suppression systems automatically dispense chemicals that smother the flames. As these systems are activated, they automatically shut down fuel and electrical supplies to nearby cooking equipment. For added safety, you should have your fire suppression system serviced at least twice a year.
As backup, you should have portable class K fire extinguishers installed in the kitchen. Class K extinguishers are built for fires that burn at high temperatures. Class ABC extinguishers should be installed throughout the rest of the establishment.
It is critical you have your restaurant hood system inspected for grease buildup. Fire code calls for high-volume operations to have quarterly inspections while moderate-volume establishments require semi-annual inspections. Monthly inspections are required for places that utilize solid fuel cooking equipment.
Lastly, you should schedule regular maintenance on all electrical equipment. You need to be aware of hazards such as frayed cords and cracked switch plates.
It would also be wise to train your staff on how to properly use a fire extinguisher and to never throw water on a grease fire. They also need to realize the importance of properly storing flammable liquids and how to properly clean up grease. All this will keep your establishment from becoming another fire statistic.