7 Tips for Keeping Your Restaurant Safe from Fire
February 16, 2017
Fires in commercial kitchens pose problems for businesses across the United States. Every year, there are more than 8,000 of these fires across the country. It has been found that at least 57% of these fires involved the cooking equipment itself. From having your fire extinguisher recharged to taking the proper care of your fire extinguisher system, there are proactive steps you can take to keep your restaurant safe from fire.
- Have inspections done on your fire suppression system as recommended. You need to have this system looked at by professionals every six months. Your system needs to be checked and any maintenance that needs to be done should be taken care of. It does not matter how great a fire suppression system you have, if it is not inspected and maintained as needed, it is useless to you. Good fire suppression systems do several things. They shut off any power to the cooking equipment. They release chemicals that put out the fire itself. These systems can save your business in the event of a catastrophic fire. You need to have the fire suppression system inspected and serviced by a qualified professional.
- Have back up fire extinguishers. These need to be kept no more than 30 feet from your cooking equipment. In the same way that your automatic fire suppression system needs to be inspected and maintained regularly, you need to have fire extinguisher services come into your business and preform fire extinguisher inspections on a regular basis. From time to time you will need to have a fire extinguisher recharge job done to make sure they are working as they should. Researchers looked at about two thousand fires and discovered that when these back up fire extinguishers were used, the fires were effectively put out in 80% of the cases.
- Get the right kind of portable fire extinguishers. There are several classes of fire extinguishers that can be used in commercial kitchens. Class K fire extinguishers are the most effective at putting out any fires that involve oil, grease and fats. There are sometimes fires that involve plastic, wood, paper or electrical issues. For that reason, you should also have fire extinguishers that are classes A, B and C. While it is true that the majority of fires is commercial kitchens are around the cooking equipment, at least 43% of those fires have other causes.
- You need a fire alarm system. In addition to having a good fire suppression system, having a decent fire alarm system is essential to keeping a restaurant safe from fire. These systems will monitor the environment in your place of business. When something such as smoke is detected, it can alert the local fire department. The faster they can get to your business, the more contained the fire can be and the less damage will be done to your business. Yes, you need to make sure your fire extinguisher recharge jobs have been completed but alerting you and the local fire department will make a big difference.
- Put your maintenance on a schedule. Your fire suppression system needs to be tested and maintained The same can be said for the portable fire extinguishers. Making appointments to have a fire extinguisher recharge job done every few months will help make sure that you actually go through with it. It is important to keep everything in working order to achieve the most fire protection as is possible.
- Have a plan for a fire. They say that “a failure to plan is a plan to fail.” You should work with your employees to have a plan of action if there is a fire. This includes having some people designated as the “go to” staff to use your portable fire extinguishers. They should be trained on the use of this equipment and also be there when you conduct the fire extinguisher recharge. You should also have a plan for getting any customers out of your business and a meet up point for everyone outside.
- Make sure your emergency exits light are all working. You need people to be able to find their way out of your business if the lights go out when there is a fire or other emergency.