Five Simple Ways to Prevent Kitchen Fires
In recent years, commercial and restaurant kitchens have made huge leaps in energy efficiency. High efficiency ranges and ovens heat up much faster, and meat fats and lard for frying are being swapped out for healthier vegetable oils which also heat faster and retain their heat for much longer. While all of these advances in cooking technology have been great for improving restaurant efficiency and productivity, the same cannot be said for restaurant safety – the number of fires in commercial kitchens have increased, and these fires are harder to extinguish and much more likely to reflash. Fortunately, preventing kitchen fires is not impossible – all it takes is a little common sense (backed up by a kitchen fire suppression system).
Easy Ways to Prevent Kitchen Fires
Keep your restaurant kitchen clean and organized – this is the most important, and arguably easiest, thing you can do to prevent kitchen fires. Restaurant and commercial kitchens are already a hotbed for fires – wooden pallets, cardboard boxes and assorted trash left on the floor all significantly increase your risk of fire!
If you operate a commercial kitchen, make sure you keep walkways clear of debris and keep flammable trash and shipping materials out of the way of open flames or heating elements. Also make sure you empty grease traps a few times a day and clean the walls and hoods around grills whenever they start to collect grease – grease on the walls and in your kitchen hoods is at an especially high risk of igniting when exposed to flames or excessive heat.
Keep all exits clear at all times – this one goes along with keeping your kitchen clean, but it’s important to mention on its own. Make sure you keep storage racks, food warmers and other kitchen fixtures out of the way of all the exit doors so that if a fire ever occurs in your restaurant, you’ll be able to get out safely.
Install a kitchen fire suppression system – we’ve extolled the benefits of kitchen fire suppression systems before, and for good reason. Since kitchen fires are commonly caused by grease, water is usually ineffective at putting them out. Fortunately, there are a number of highly effective kitchen fire suppression systems available, including the Piranha kitchen fire suppression system and the Kitchen Knight II kitchen fire suppression system which use specifically designed chemical processes to stop fires at the source and prevent them from flaring up again.
Take extra care around open flames – this should go without saying, but we’ve seen so many accidents that is bears mentioning. If your restaurant uses flambé cooking techniques or if you have candles or other open flames on the tables, the risk of those flames catching onto clothing, tablecloths or napkins is extremely high. No, we won’t ask you to remove your candles or stick with safer cooking techniques – just make sure your staff has the proper equipment and training necessary to knock back a fire before it spreads to uncontrollable levels.
Have a fire safety plan established – this is important in any building, but especially important in a restaurant. If you own or operate a restaurant in New Jersey, Delaware or Philadelphia, Confires can help you design a fire safety plan that will keep your employees and patrons safe at all times.
Establishing an effective fire safety plan is especially difficult in restaurants where there is a constant influx of people who probably won’t be familiar with your routine. However, if every person on your staff knows their role and knows what to do in the event of an emergency, you can rest assured knowing that your restaurant will be safe.
If you need more kitchen fire safety tips, or if you want to install a kitchen fire suppression system or develop a kitchen fire safety plan, call Confires today!
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