Restaurants are always at risk of a fire, so having the best preventative maintenance and fire safety protection equipment available is paramount. Cleaning chemicals, cooking oils, electrical appliances, hot cooking equipment, and open flames are all risks for starting a devastating fire. Fire protection and prevention are important for every restaurant.
Here, our fire protection specialist discusses what you can do to keep your business safe from a fire.
1. Ensure emergency lights are working
Ensure exit signs are visible, both in the dining areas and in the kitchen.
2. Keep fire escape routes free
Ensure there are no obstructions.
3. Don’t wedge open fire doors
They don’t work when they’re open.
4. Inspect the exhaust system for grease buildup
There should be semiannual inspections in moderate-volume operations and quarterly inspections of systems in high-volume operations. Monthly inspections are needed for exhaust systems serving solid-fuel cooking equipment, like charcoal or wood-burning ovens.
5. Inspect cooking equipment regularly
Ensure your cooking equipment is well-maintained and clean. If you fail to keep your equipment in full working order, dangerous mechanical faults may occur, which may cause a fire.
6. Activate the fire suppression system before using a portable fire extinguisher
While the system is activated, the gas and electricity feeding the appliances are shut off automatically, which mitigates the risk for re-ignition after the fire is extinguished.
Cooking oils have an ‘auto-ignition’ temperature. This means, once the oil approaches this temperature, it can ignite without a flame or spark. If there’s a fire and you use a fire extinguisher first before activating the fire suppression system, there’s a good chance the fire will reignite as the fuel source will still be active.
7. Use portable fire extinguishers as a backup
For kitchen fires involving oils, fats, and grease that burn at high temperatures, use Class K extinguishers. These extinguishers are just intended to be used after a built-in hood suppression system activates. For all other fires (electrical, plastic, wood, and paper), keep Class ABC extinguishers.
8. Don’t move equipment once the fire suppression system is in place
These systems are carefully designed based on the equipment’s placement and the client’s specific cooking equipment. If they move or change an appliance, the fire system may fail to extinguish a fire.
9. Wire the exhaust fan to automatically turn on when cooking appliances are activated
Fire systems activate automatically when a system detector reaches a certain temperature. If the exhaust fan doesn’t run, heat builds up, which sets one of these detectors off and discharges the system.
10. Inspect the fire suppression system semiannually
Get the fire suppression system inspected semiannually through a professional fire suppression services provider.
11. Install a fire suppression system in the kitchen
This is critical because most restaurant fires include cooking equipment. Although these systems dispense chemicals automatically to suppress the flames, they also come with a manual switch. When you activate the system, you automatically shut down the electric or fuel supply to nearby cooking equipment.
Facilities USA’s fire prevention specialist is committed to helping you put your business first
Facilities USA is a licensed fire protection contractor that helps keep your business running smoothly.