If you think a fire can never happen to you, you are wrong. Every year more than $246 million in direct property damage results from fires in restaurants and other dining establishments. Almost 60% of these involve cooking equipment. Fire departments can offer advise on local fire extinguisher recharge services.
You may not think fire extinguisher inspections are important, but they can save lives, prevent injuries and minimize property damage in the event of a fire. In fact, fire extinguisher inspections of automatic systems in commercial kitchens should be taking place every six months. They should be serviced by a qualified contractor and fire extinguisher services at the same time. A service for fire extinguishers keeps them functioning optimally and ensures that there is sufficient fire fire suppression material on hand. Given that there are over 8,000 commercial kitchen fires every year, such servicing should happen as a matter of course.
The leading types of equipment involved in non-confined fires at restaurant buildings are deep fryers and ranges which account for 9% and 7% of fire respectively. These are followed by miscellaneous kitchen and cooking equipment which accounts for a further 5% of such fires. As much as 41% of all non-confined restaurant fires begin in kitchens or cooking areas. Portable fire extinguishers can be as successful in extinguishing fires as automatic systems, with more than 80% of 2,000 fires studied having been put out with a portable extinguisher. These should be kept no more than 30 feet from cooking areas.
Another potential fire source can be wood- or charcoal-burning ovens, which should be emptied of ashes at least daily. The removed ashes should be stored outside in metal containers and the containers should be at least 10 feet from any buildings or potentially combustible materials. The use of vegetable oils for frying can also be a fire hazard as they burn at a higher temperature than animal fats. The resultant fryer fires are more difficult to suppress because of the higher temperatures. Caution should be taken when using vegetable oils for frying and adequate fire prevention and extinguishing systems must be in place.By ensuring that such systems are serviced and maintained, you can lower your risk of fire and prevent damage, injury and death.