Whether you’ve owned and operated a restaurant for a number of years or are just starting out in the business, you’re aware of the importance of having regular fire protection services. The automatic extinguishing systems in commercial kitchens need to be inspected and serviced by a qualified contractor every 6 months.
In addition to your automatic extinguishing system, you also need to have conveniently-located fire extinguishers .These should be located within 30 feet of all cooking areas. After using an extinguisher, a fire extinguisher recharge is needed. It’s also important to have regular fire extinguisher inspections to ensure that these devices are in optimal working order.
Commercial kitchens have reported more than 8,000 fires every year. A study was conducted with over 2,000 of these incidents, and the results showed that portable fire extinguishers were able to extinguish over 80% of the fires that occurred. Given this, it underlines the importance of fire extinguisher servicing such as fire extinguisher recharges.
While restaurant fires can be caused by a variety of circumstances, 57% of these involve cooking equipment. What follows is a list of the specific types of cooking equipment that are known to be the leading causes of ignition in non-confined restaurant building fires:
- Deep fryers: 9%
- Ranges: 7%
- Miscellaneous: 5%
Recent figures show that 41% of these non-confined building fires usually begin in kitchen cooking areas and kitchens. In order to decrease the incidence of these and other types of fires breaking out, it’s important to be aware of situations that could potentially lead to a fire igniting.
When kitchens use wood-and-charcoal-burning ovens, for example, the ashes should be removed a minimum of once a day. These ashes should be stored outside in metal containers. There should be a minimum of 10 feet between these storage containers and any buildings or combustible materials, such as oil.
There are 35 states within the country with replacement requirements for non-UL 300 systems. These systems need to be replaced under the following conditions:
- When the cooking equipment is changed
- When the cooking equipment is repositioned
- When the cooking equipment is replaced
- When the existing system can’t be properly maintained
A considerable amount of property damage can be caused when a fire breaks out in a restaurant or other type of dining establishment. On an annual basis, this amounts to an average of $246 million in direct damages. Given this, it’s important to have regular fire safety inspections along with service for fire extinguishers and automatic extinguishing systems. A fire extinguisher recharge, for example, is required after this device has been used.