Owning a restaurant or commercial kitchen can be a hefty job all on its own without the concern of fire hazard. Even so, fire is an unavoidable possibility; it therefore necessary to anticipate quality fire protection. For a restaurant or kitchen owner with little experience in such matters, it might be difficult to know where to start with commercial kitchen fire suppression. One may even wonder just how important all the precautions are when push comes to shove. These are good questions to consider as an owner of any establishment, as such, the following points will illustrate the costly damage caused by fires, the typical causes of commercial kitchen fire, and the steps that need to be taken to prevent damage and injury. Armed with this knowledge, an owner will be better able to make an educated decision on the necessary steps to take.
1. The Cost of Fire Damage
Apart from possible injury and death, commercial kitchen fires are responsible for millions of dollars in damage. They are not uncommon either, as there are little over 8,000 kitchen fires reported on average each year. This means that a woeful amount of kitchen owners are not taking the practicing proper commercial kitchen fire suppression tactics. These restaurant and commercial kitchen fires cost about $246,000,000 in annual damage, illustrating how important it is that more kitchen owners take commercial kitchen fire suppression tactics seriously.
2. Causes of Commercial Kitchen Fire
Perhaps it is no surprise that most restaurant and commercial kitchen fires would start in the kitchen itself, where a kitchen fire suppression system would be most needed. An average of 57% of kitchen fires involve cooking equipment; specifically, deep fryers make up 9% of causation, ranges make up 7% and general cooking equipment make up 5% as the leading types of equipment to cause unconfined restaurant fires. For restaurants in particular, 41% of these fires start in the kitchen.
3. Commercial Kitchen Fire Prevention
The good news is that fire prevention in a commercial kitchen needn’t be very difficult, especially with good fire extinguisher servicing. As indicated, restaurant fire equipment is the most important aspect of fire prevention. Automatic extinguishing systems have to be serviced every 6 months in commercial kitchens by no less than a qualified contractor. In that same vein, extinguishers should be no further than 30 feet from cooking areas. Most of the U.S. requires replacement of non-UL 300 fire suppression systems when any cooking equipment is relocated or replaced or if the system that already exists can’t be maintained.
With this cursory knowledge of the basics of kitchen fire damage, causation and prevention, commercial kitchen owners will hopefully have a better chance of making a good decision for the future of their establishment.