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Preventing Kitchen Fires

Posted on: September 16, 2010

Due to the nature of the environment, a commercial kitchen is at a serious risk for fire damage. Even small and totally unassuming things can add to the danger, such as an unwatched pot of soup that can ignite some trapped grease and cause a massive fire in a shopping center, resulting in $130,000 worth of damages (true story!). Luckily, with the right combination of common sense practices and fire suppression systems, the potential for kitchen fires can be greatly reduced .

Ways to prevent restaurant fires

Install a fire suppression system – To prevent kitchen fires, the first and foremost thing you should do is install an automatic kitchen fire suppression system. According to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the average loss per fire drops by over 40% when an effective fire suppression system is involved.

If you are building a new restaurant, make sure you include a grease hood and ventilation system above all open cooking surfaces (flat tops, grills, fryers, etc) to ensure that the grease is drawn out of the air instead of falling on all the surfaces of your kitchen, turning ordinary stoves and kitchen fixtures into kindling for a grease fire.

Keep your kitchen clean and organized – Restaurant kitchens are loaded with fire hazards. Grease from grill areas and deep fryers can build up on hoods and ventilation ducts, which is almost asking for a fire. The best way to avoid an unexpected kitchen fire emergency is to make sure that any grease exhaust systems are thoroughly cleaned down to the bare metal regularly. This will prevent grease build up and drastically reduce your risk for grease fires.

Remember to remove things like wooden palettes and cardboard boxes from your facility as often as possible. In restaurants, they pile up quickly and are a huge factor in spreading fires that start in the kitchen. When disposing of them, make sure the dumpsters they are put in are far enough away from the kitchen that any dumpster fires will not spread to the kitchen.

Train your staff in fire safety – The best defense against dangerous kitchen fire is a staff that knows exactly what to do in the event of a small fire. Make sure you educate your staff about how to dispose of flammable waste (even paper), and how to handle ignition or heat producing sources, such as stoves and deep fryers.

Want to learn more about commercial kitchen fire suppression systems for your Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA) or Washington, DC restaurant? Contact Guardian Fire Protection today.

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