Restaurants Have One Of The Highest Risk Of Fire What You Should Know
Fires are one of the most prevalent issues facing working Americans today. Able to be started with a seemingly negligible spark or lack of ventilation, these natural disasters have the ability to destroy millions of dollars of equipment, injure hundreds and even cause death if not controlled. High-risk environments, such as the restaurant industry, sees a higher concentration of these fires on average and needs updated technology to keep both its workers and customers safe. Everything from routine fire extinguisher inspections to a fire extinguisher recharge go a long way in pinpointing the issue before it starts and keeping a sharp eye on the future in case worse comes to worse. If you or your workplace isn’t caught up on fire protection, read below to learn more about this phenomenon and what you can do about it.
Fires In America
While the number of fires is far greater in the general sector, restaurant industries have their own statistics to contend with. The United States sees over 8,000 commercial kitchen fires reported every year — these workplace hazards have cost an average of $246 million in direct property damages and can be prevented with prior knowledge and prevention tactics. Other high-risk areas include hospitals, apartment complexes and retirement homes. While they all share commonalities, kitchen fires have their own unique patterns that can be attended to. One of these is knowing the common sources of kitchen fires and how to attend to them.
Causes Of Kitchen Fires
Fires can be caused in a number of ways, from a neglected cigarette butt not properly disposed of to a faulty electrical system. However, studies have found nearly 60% of restaurant fires involving cooking equipment. Non-confined restaurant building fires tend to start in cooking areas and kitchens, at 40% overall, and can spread significantly if not put under control. The leading equipment involved in kitchen fires are deep fryers, ranges and miscellaneous kitchen and cooking devices. Poor ventilation and cleaning neglect can exacerbate these, as well.
Common Pitfalls To Avoid
While some fires are unavoidable, there are many steps you can take to reduce the vast majority and keep the percentage as low as possible. Proper ventilation is key for filtering smoke and preventing a significant build-up from accumulating in a closed space. Regular cleaning is another step that will remove the everyday accumulation of debris, that of which can smoke and spark and leave surrounding equipment at risk. Wood and charcoal burning ovens need their ashes routinely swept and stored safely away from any combustible materials. Lastly, routine maintenance of fire protection equipment will ensure that issues are detected before they go out of control. Fire extinguisher services can install a fire extinguisher recharge and perform inspections at least once per year, if not more.
Fire Protection Equipment
Following fire protection protocol is necessary to maintain a safe and productive workplace. Commercial kitchens should have their automatic extinguishing systems inspected and serviced every six months with a professional contractor, with more frequent visits as is deemed necessary by the establishment. Fire extinguishers are located no more than 30 feet away from any cooking environment to better ensure they are used quickly and efficiently. Studies conducted over 2,000 fire incidents have revealed portable fire extinguishers being successful 80% of the time. Contact your local fire extinguisher servicing company to better see how they can assess your working environment, install a fire extinguisher recharge and make it safer.