Restaurant Fire Protection Self-Inspection
Since a restaurant typically has hazardous materials, equipment, customers and staff all within the confines of a relatively small area, restaurants in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC are required to undergo frequent, rigorous fire inspections. Your restaurant has to take extra measures to avoid fire code violations during your quarterly, semi-annual or yearly inspections. If the fire marshal finds a violation during a walk through, the restaurant may have to close down until it resolves the problem. And anytime your restaurant is closed, you’re not making money – not to mention all of the headaches involved in actually correcting those violations. To help keep your kitchen safe and prevent potential fire code violations, you can take the following steps to ensure that your restaurant and commercial kitchen are always up to code:
- Make sure that your kitchen has an automatic, listed wet-chemical system in good working condition, and that your ducts and hood system above all of your ranges, grills and fat fryers are in good condition. And obviously, make sure that your kitchen fire suppression system is UL-300 certified so that you can be sure it will put out a fire as soon as one starts.
- Have the proper number and types of charged fire extinguishers, with up-to-date tags stamped by a certified fire protection company. Commercial kitchens require Class K fire extinguishers which serve as the critical backup if the primary kitchen fire suppression system ever fails.
- Check to see that the fire extinguishers are securely mounted on the wall and correctly matched up with the potential hazard.
- Offer fire protection and fire extinguisher training for restaurant employees in case there is an emergency.
- Be sure that there are no storage items, food racks or furniture blocking restaurant emergency exits.
- Make sure restaurant supplies are not placed in an area where they can cause a fire hazard.
- Make sure that sprinklers are located in the correct areas throughout the restaurant and are in proper working order.
- Have all exits, especially emergency exits, clearly marked.
- Display a map of the restaurant with every exit marked.
- Check that the cooking equipment’s fuel supply has an automatic shut-off valve in case a fire breaks out.
- Hire a reputable fire protection company to come out to tag and service your kitchen fire suppression system.
These guidelines are just the absolute basic requirements for restaurant fire protection. For more specific guidelines, ask your fire protection inspection company for a more comprehensive checklist that your restaurant can follow between inspections. If you are looking for more information on restaurant fire protection, or if you want to schedule an appointment with one of the leaders in fire protection for food service facilities, call the experts at Guardian Fire Protection!
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