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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Preventing Restaurant Fires: 7 Tips

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

photo of cooking fire in a commercial kitchen Taking steps to prevent fires in your restaurant will save you thousands of dollars and keep your doors open.

Taking fire prevention seriously in your commercial kitchen can save you thousands of dollars in repairs and restoration after a fire. After all, restaurant fires cause $165 million in property damage every year. Follow the tips outlined here to reign in fire hazards in your restaurant.

7 Ways To Prevent Restaurant Fires

1 | Properly clean up grease. Be sure that your employees are regularly and correctly cleaning exhaust hoods, dryers, broilers, and grills to ensure that there is no grease buildup. Make sure grease traps are cleaned out regularly as well. Cooking oil igniting caused 43% of fires in restaurants - so take preventative steps to ensure it does not build up.

2 | Have multiple fire extinguishers located around the restaurant. If a small fire starts, you want to be able to put it out before it has a chance to spread. Be sure that your fire extinguishers are up to date and are the correct class for your needs.

3 | Install and regularly test your fire suppression system. Sprinkler systems can help suppress a fire, prevent it from spreading, and allow time for employees and customers to safely exit the building.

4 | Test fire alarms and emergency lighting. Fire alarms allow everyone in the building time to know that 1) there is a fire and 2) they need to evacuate. Emergency lighting makes it easier for people to navigate your restaurant during an emergency.

5 | Take steps to prevent electrical fires. Older commercial kitchens may have outdated wiring that cannot handle the voltage of your modern cooking equipment or the large volume of equipment being used. Inspect for fraying wires, loose plugs, and ensure any electrical equipment is up to date and doesn't overheat.

6 | Have your exhaust system cleaned regularly. Although your staff should be routinely cleaning the exhaust hood of grease and debris, it can still build up in the exhaust vents and pose a risk of fire. Contact a professional company to do this for you.

7 | Ensure that your kitchen staff is properly trained. At a minimum, all of your staff should be well informed on the following:

  • Where the fire extinguishers are and how to use them.
  • Keep flammable items away from open flames.
  • Do not leave food cooking unattended.
  • Proper way to put out a grease fire.
  • How to properly mix cleaning chemicals, and know which ones cannot be mixed.
  • How to properly store flammable liquids.
  • Where the gas, water, an electric emergency shutoffs are located.

Following these kitchen fire safety tips can help to prevent a major fire damage disaster in your restaurant, and keep you up and running sooner if one does occur.

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