Salt Lake City, UT – While restaurants bring a lot of people joy, the fact is they are highly dangerous places. The kitchen is the culprit. Hot equipment, flames, chemicals, and paper products increase the risks of fire significantly. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that thousands of establishments report fires every year to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. In other words, as a restaurant owner, a fire could cost you a significant amount of money and could cost you your business altogether. It’s not worth the risk, especially when there are ways to prevent restaurant fires. Here are the steps to take.
A fire suppression system releases chemicals when it detects a fire. The chemicals suppress the flames, and the system automatically turns off the electrical supply.
Keep Class K Extinguishers Within Arm’s Reach
Place K Extinguishers near all areas where fires could start, such as near the stoves and ovens. ABC extinguishers are best for areas where paper, wood, and electrical fires could occur.
Schedule Inspections Regularly
Inspections ensure everything is in good working order and there are no fire risks. They should be conducted quarterly unless your restaurant is a high-volume operation. If your kitchen has wood or charcoal burning ovens, you should schedule monthly inspections.
Train Your Staff
Fire Restaurant Safety training for staff is important. All staff should have a refresher every six months. Training should include:
How to clean up grease
How to deal with a grease fire
How to remove ashes
Where to store flammable liquids
The importance of keeping areas tidy
An emergency plan
Maintenance Is Important
You should have all equipment maintained at least every six months. A Fire Restaurant Safety professional can check for any loose or frayed wires and broken switch plates. A report will identify any fire hazards you’ll need to take care of to pass inspection.
Schedule Maintenance to Prevent Restaurant Fires
Is it time for a maintenance and Fire Restaurant Safety inspection appointment? Contact APS-Hoods for professional cleaning, maintenance, and fire protection services. We can protect your business by ensuring your kitchen’s equipment and setup have a low risk of fire. Call us today at 800-750-7313 for a free quote.
Denver, CO – Each year, fires cause serious damage to property, sometimes even resulting in injury and death. One of the most effective strategies to protect a building against fire is for management to educate everyone on staff regarding methods of fire prevention and urge them to report any possible fire hazards so that the situation can be handled quickly and properly. Although workplace environments vary, there are some common fire hazards business owners need to be aware of; following are some examples and tips on how to reduce the risk of them causing a fire.
Flammable Liquids and Vapors:
This is more of a threat in some environments than others. Particularly at risk are factories and industrial warehouses where large amounts of vapors and flammable liquids are kept. Flammable liquids can ignite immediately when they come into contact with a flame or spark. To decrease the risk of a fire in these areas, always be sure that solvents and flammable liquids are correctly sealed – and if a spill does happen – be sure they are safely and properly cleaned immediately.
Waste and Combustible Material:
In many business offices, there is a buildup of trash, paper, and other flammable items that can easily catch fire. If these objects are not discarded on a regular basis, they can provide ample fuel for a dangerous blaze. Avoid stowing rubbish on site as much as possible, or make sure it is in an assigned area, away from main buildings and any possible sources of ignition.
In some cases, electrical equipment and machinery warm up during use, providing the potential for a fire. Combustible materials should be kept away from heat sources and unplug any equipment that is not being used whenever possible. Never leave any machinery or electrical equipment turned on overnight unless it is necessary.
This is a common cause of electrical fires, but it can be easily avoided. A fire can start if faulty extension cords are used or there are too many appliances plugged into the same socket. Use one plug in each socket only, and never use appliances that total more than 3,000 watts or 13amps across the entire socket.
These fires are one of the most common types that occur in the workplace. Encourage staff to be on the lookout for any signs of loose cables or damaged plugs and replace them immediately. All electrical equipment should be checked by an expert technician on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of fires in the workplace is human negligence. Even though the component of human mistakes cannot be completely removed, with proper training business owners can eliminate these errors by providing effective training and guidance for their staff.
Salt Lake City, UT – The majority of restaurateurs understand the importance of fire safety in a commercial kitchen. A single fire outbreak has the potential to cost tens of thousands of dollars in damage to a commercial kitchen. There is also the risk of causing injury or loss of life if the fire is not quickly and effectively controlled. Fire systems require much more attention than simply installing a fire extinguisher beside the deep fryer or cooktop. Fires can be sparked by a number of different sources within a kitchen, some of which may require specialized fire systems to extinguish properly. There are several different classifications of fire extinguishers, each suited to fighting fires sparked by different sources.
Labels on the front of each fire extinguisher display letters that outline the type of fire each system is suited to fight. The National Fire Protection Association(NFPA) defines three classes of common fires and another two specialty classes. These are:
Class A –
Used to combat fires sparked by common combustible sources such as paper, cardboard boxes, or wood.
Class B –
Used to fight high-heat fires fueled by flammable liquids, including gasoline, paint, oil, and other solvents.
Class C –
Used to extinguish electrical fires that may have been caused by appliances or motors.
Class D –
Used specifically for fighting fires that involve combustible metals, such as titanium, sodium, magnesium or potassium that have the potential to react violently if doused with water or other chemicals.
Class K –
Used specifically for combating fires sparked in cooking appliances or that involve cooking fats or vegetable oils. Standard dry chemicals found in common fire extinguishers are ineffective when trying to extinguish fires in modern cooking appliances, so using specialized fire extinguishers is crucial for improving kitchen safety. Aside from having the correct fire extinguishers and other fire suppression systems in place, commercial kitchen owners can reduce the risk of fire by regularly cleaning and inspecting hood installations, changing grease filters often, and checking that any flammable liquids or chemical solutions are stored properly away from stoves or cooking equipment. All commercial kitchens are required to adhere to national fire testing standard UL-300, which was designed to ensure fires are safely controlled and maintained. A professional fire system service can provide peace of mind that your kitchen’s fire system installation is up to code and that you have the correct classifications of fire extinguishers to suit your kitchen’s needs.
Commercial kitchen facilities are required to uphold fire testing standard UL-300, a policy that has been in place since 1994. UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, the organization that created the rules to help commercial kitchens deal with and control property and life-threatening fires.
To earn UL 300 certification, which is necessary to secure a Property Insurance policy, Underwriters Laboratories must test and certify each piece of fire suppression equipment independently. The goal is to help restaurants reduce the risk of fires by ensuring that all cooking equipment and the kitchen setup minimizes the collection of grease in the duct-work and the air. Fire extinguishing equipment must also be adequate in handling the severely hot temperatures that can be found in most commercial kitchen equipment.
Before 1994, most commercial cooking operations used animal fat and deep fryers that were poorly insulated, resulting in inconsistent and inefficient cooking temperatures. In those days, kitchens used dry chemical systems that would smother a fire if one were to break out.
Modern Fire Suppression Systems
These days, kitchens have done away with animal fat and have instead turned to vegetable oils, which tend to heat to cooking temperatures more quickly. The deep fryers used in today’s kitchens retain heat more efficiently and are well-insulated. However, dry chemical systems are no longer used, as they are incapable of extinguishing fires and keeping them extinguished.
UL-300 calls for the use of wet chemical fire suppression systems, which serve two primary purposes. First, UL-300 systems still smother fires similar to the way dry chemical extinguishers did. Second, they are designed to cool the liquids so that the fire doesn’t re-ignite, something dry systems were unequipped to do.
If you hope for your commercial kitchen to pass inspection, the following requirements will need to be put into place.
Fire extinguishing nozzles should be located in all hoods and ducts, as well as above each cooking appliance.
All gas and electrical power sources should have automatic fuel shutoff capabilities.
A manual shutoff pull station should be available for all power sources.
You should have at least one wet chemical fire extinguishing system that adheres to UL-300 (and that is checked semi-annually by a certified professional).
Grease filters should be cleaned on a weekly basis.
NFPA stands for National Fire Prevention Association, an organization that works to prevent fires in commercial kitchens, and other cooking facilities. NFPA 96 is a publication that outlines the safety guidelines that restaurant owners can put in place to reduce fire risk.
The guidelines include the proper distance and angles for installing exhaust hoods and cooking surfaces, as well as what types of exhaust filters are acceptable for cooking equipment.
The publication also delves into the proper construction for ducts, including how large they should be, and what materials they should be comprised of. The angles at which they produce exhaust outside of the building are also covered.
While these guidelines may seem daunting, they’re actually good for you, the restaurant owner, as it takes much of the guesswork out of how to properly set up a commercial kitchen. They are also designed to keep your property, staff, and customers safe by preventing grease and other fires. To learn more about being UL-300 compliant and to ensure your fire suppression systems are maintained and cleaned properly, contact Aps-Hoods for a free estimate at (800) 750-7313 in Colorado and around the country. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Farazandeh are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links