The fast-paced and at times hectic atmosphere of a commercial kitchen lends itself to many hazards that must be managed to ensure the safety of workers and reduce the chance of costly damage to property and equipment. As more than 8,000 commercial kitchen fires are reported each year costing over $246 million in property damage annually, a major focus of your efforts to maintain a safe kitchen environment should be on restaurant fire suppression systems. Check out these tips to find additional ways to manage the risk of kitchen fires in addition to commercial kitchen fire suppression systems.
#1. Fire Extinguisher Servicing
Fire extinguisher servicing not only helps you meet the mandated safety standards of your industry, it promotes a safer kitchen environment for all employees. Fire extinguisher servicing may include periodic testing and servicing to ensure that they are ready to work properly and quickly if the need should ever arise. Portable fire extinguishers are highly effective at managing kitchen fires as reported from a study of 2,000 fire incidents. In this study, over 80% of the fire incidents were successfully extinguished by the portable fire extinguishers.
#2. Automatic Extinguishing System Inspections
Another important tip for fire prevention is ensuring that automatic extinguishing systems receive inspections at regular intervals. Every six months, commercial kitchens should hire a qualified contractor to conduct an inspection of automatic extinguishing systems and service them so that everything is working properly. Inspectors may also check the configuration of your fire prevention system and suggest changes such as locating fire extinguishers a maximum of 30 feet away from cooking areas.
#3. Preventative Measures and Safe Habits
In addition to the services provided by fire suppression servicers, it is important to take proactive, preventative measures in commercial kitchens to avoid unsafe situations that could result in accidental kitchen fires. For example, kitchens that use ovens which burn wood or coal should be emptied every day, if not multiple times a day. Ashes should be placed into a metal container outside at least 10 feet away from buildings or materials that could catch fire.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about fire prevention strategies for commercial kitchens, your comments are welcomed.