Restaurant Fire – Causes and Caution
Restaurant fires can be devastating for everyone – from chefs, staff to guests – and mostly for the owners. The kitchen fire causes damage to equipment, building structure and injuries to guests, restaurant workers, and kitchen employees. The business takes a financial hit due to repair work, word of mouth, business downtime and sometimes in the restaurant closing permanently.
The restaurant is the perfect place for a fire to begin – open flames, heating equipment, cooking oils, cleaning chemicals (inflammable), electrical connection, hot cooking equipment, grease build-up, paper products and lots of oxygen.
Approximately 40% of restaurant and hotel fire has begun in the kitchen and 19% start at the stove. More surprising, is the fact that failure to properly clean equipment is the no.1 factor in 1 in 5 restaurant fires (according to data from the NFPA).
EPSCO has penned down the main reasons for these fires to begin:
Clogged hood filters
The main purpose of exhaust hoods is to get rid of extra smoke, grease, gas, and odours, and hence they also play an important role in ensuring your kitchen is safe. The exhaust hoods over your cooking equipment do get hot! In some cases, they may get so hot that any grease that has accumulated on them could be in danger of igniting into a flash fire.
If you allow grease to accumulate on your hood filter, it will create a serious fire hazard. To prevent this issue, EPSCO can help you clean your hood regularly.
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 restaurant kitchen is designed in such a way that a fire can begin naturally. Having fire extinguishers within easy reach of any of your hot surfaces can be a big help. Make sure that every single employee both knows where they’re kept and how to use them.
Bad or faulty wiring can cause a spark or even aid a fire that has already begun in the kitchen.
EPSCO brings you precautionary measures to keep the restaurant fires in check:
Dealing with kitchen grease properly
Kitchen grease is one of the biggest pains of working in a kitchen. Not only is it dangerous to work with, but if one drip hits the floor, it must be cleaned up immediately and cleaned up properly to ensure that the floor does not become a danger to your workers.
Clean the hoods and vents regularly. It’s important to put together a regular cleaning schedule for your deep fat fryers, however, every restaurant schedule will differ depending on many factors. It’s important to ensure that both the fryer and the vents are cleaned regularly in order to ensure that a build-up of grease does not become a fire hazard.
Consult a professional. Having a professional like EPSCO inspect your exhaust system will ensure that the deep and harder to reach parts of the extraction system are cleaned efficiently. As well as this, you will be told with confidence if there are certain parts of the system which are not being cleaned as well as they are supposed to be.
Clean grease from around the whole kitchen. Given that in a kitchen you are working with grease regularly, it’s important to clean the whole kitchen every day (or at the very least every other day). Not only is this general health and safety, but it prevents grease from building up in other parts of the kitchen and become a safety hazard.
Have your cleaning rags cleaned too. Remember, grease isn’t the most pleasant thing to work with, and that’s not just the case for in the kitchen. When it comes to cleaning grease out of your cleaning rags it can be a real pain. Have your greasy rags professionally cleaned, too.