A kitchen fire causes plenty of chaos in a home, but it’s one of the worst things that can happen to a restaurant. Not only are lives and property in danger, but your business is closed for an unknown length of time, putting jobs and the future of the restaurant at risk. That’s why it’s vital to take kitchen fire safety seriously. These five tips will help reduce the risk of fire in your commercial kitchen environment.
- Check your cooking equipment. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were an estimated average of 7,640 structure fires in eating and drinking establishments per year between 2006-2010, causing around $246 million in damages. Three out of five of those fires involved cooking equipment. Be sure that all equipment, from fryers to ovens, is cleaned on a daily basis. Schedule regular professional inspections to check for problems and don’t use equipment that’s no longer safe to operate.
- Clean grease frequently. It’s easy to wipe up grease on a cooktop, but don’t forget that it accumulates in hoods and grease traps. If these areas get too hot, or the buildup is too great, a fire can easily result. Regularly scheduled cleanings from the companies that installed the equipment will keep these hazards from developing.
- Be sure the sprinklers work. Automated sprinkler systems can be the difference between a small fire that keeps you down for a few days and an inferno that destroys your business. The pipes and heads on the system can become corroded over time, so it’s important to have them inspected regularly. If you do any work at your business, such as remodeling, repairs or buildouts, have the sprinkler system checked to ensure that the system integrity hasn’t been affected.
- Verify your suppression system’s UL compliance. UL 300 compliance is the safety benchmark, and has been since the early 1990s. Some restaurants still use older systems, but the newer technology boasts an impressive 95% reliability. If you don’t know how old your system is, or who manufactured or installed it, ask at your next inspection. Consider an upgrade to a UL 300 system if possible.
- Train your staff. Even with the best preventative equipment, fires can happen and it’s important that the kitchen crew has the training to know what to do in an emergency. Have meetings and drills about fire prevention, evacuation of patrons, and how to use extinguishers. Make sure new hires are brought up to speed.
If your home or business in Tulsa, OK experiences the devastating effects of a fire, call the professionals at ServiceMaster Complete. We’ll arrive quickly to stop the spread of soot, smoke and other corrosive products and begin the restoration process so you can get life back to normal.
The costs to repair fire and smoke damage vary, depending on the extent of the damage. According to HomeAdvisor.com, the national average is $5,844.00.