Is Your Restaurant at Risk of Fire-Related Property Damage?

Fire extinguisher servicing

Experts are reporting some good news for restaurant kitchens: in a study of over 2,000 kitchen fires, about four out of every 5 were successfully put out with the restaurant fire equipment that the restaurant had on hand.

Not only should fire suppression systems for restaurants be reviewed by a professional on a regular basis, but restaurant fire extinguishers should be kept less than 30 feet from stoves and other areas where heat is used to cook food.

Experts do recommend that restaurant fire suppression systems be installed and inspected only by a professional. Qualified contractors should be able to schedule walk-throughs before a kitchen opens, and then need to come back to check restaurant fire equipment a minimum of twice a year. Contractors may also be able to provide training for a restaurant’s employees: services rendered will depend upon the individual company.

Across the country, there are over 8,000 fires that start in restaurant or other commercial kitchens every year. Unfortunately, restaurant fires do a significant amount of damages: every day that a restaurant cannot serve customers is a day of lost profit. Annually, kitchen fires cause almost $250 million in property damage, not counting losses in food sales.

Over half of all restaurant fires start in deep fryers, stoves, and other cooking equipment. Restaurant fire suppression systems that are installed and maintained by professional contractors may have built-in safety features that can minimize many fires before they spread too far: it is important to contract for a system that meets the needs of the commercial or restaurant kitchen.

To combat potential fires, experts recommend keeping stoves clean on a daily basis: built-up oil and grease may start some kitchen fires. Also strongly recommended is regular removal of debris and ashes from wood-burning stoves, only after employees are certain there are no remaining fires that could ignite disposal containers.

Overall, regular maintenance and proper installation of restaurant fire suppression systems can work together to combat many restaurant fires. Proper training of employees and management can also be an asset when it comes to minimizing property damage and lost profits due to unforeseen restaurant fires.

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