According to U.S. official reports, there are more than 5,500 restaurant fires each year, which cost upwards of $115 million in property damages. Is the kitchen on your restaurant more likely to catch fire than average? Here are some of the most common reasons commercial kitchen fires happen and a few tips on how to prevent them.
There are many reasons to ensure your kitchen is always up to code. While you may focus on not getting customers sick and avoiding fines from the health department, it’s also smart to carefully consider the health codes that deal with electrical wiring. Maintenance guidelines are set out by OSHA and give you minimum standards to follow, as well as additional steps you can take to make sure your wiring is up to code.
Clogged hood filters
The main purpose of exhaust hoods is to get rid of extra smoke, grease, gas, and odors, but they also play an important role in ensuring your kitchen is safe. If you allow grease to accumulate on your hood filter, it could create a serious fire hazard. To prevent this issue, clean your hood regularly. Follow the recommendations of the manufacturer and OSHA.
Rags and towels
Most kitchens use rags to wipe all sorts of stuff, including flammable things like oil and grease. If you allow these rags to stack up, they could be creating a serious fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, more than 20% of restaurant fires are caused by grease accumulation. The best way to prevent this risk is to ensure that all used rags are placed in a non-flammable laundry bin that’s located outside your kitchen area.
Not having the right fire equipment
The reality is that there’s a lot of heat and direct fire in a kitchen. You can’t remove every possible source of fire. That’s why it’s essential to have a fire suppression system. The systems available from Hoodmart are prepiped and ready for a variety of exhaust hood packages. In the event of a fire, they can prevent it from spreading throughout and can help it be contained quickly and easily.
Of course, you should also have fire extinguishers within easy reach of any of your hot surfaces. Make sure that every single employee both knows where they’re kept and how to use them.