Restaurant Fire Information and Prevention By Equipment Street

All About Restaurant Fires and How to Prevent Them

Working in a fast-paced restaurant can be exciting and exhilarating. With so much going on all the time, it is easy to work through your shift without ever feeling like the night is dragging on. Time goes by quicker when there is a lot going on, and a constant influx of new customers will always keep you on your toes. However, when the atmosphere of a restaurant gets rushed and crazy, it is also easier to forget or overlook things that could be potential hazards or dangers to both the employees working in the restaurant and the patrons enjoying their meal there.

Restauarnt Fire DangerOne of the most common workplace hazards when it comes to restaurants is the potential for fire. No commercial kitchen is immune to the danger of a fire, which could result in an untold amount of damage, both financial and physical. The cost of repairing your kitchen after fire damage can be extreme, not to mention the fact that you most likely won’t be able to open your restaurant while the renovations are taking place. For this reason, it is best to be aware of which areas of your kitchen have the highest chance of causing fires within your restaurant and the best ways in which to avoid those catastrophes.

Potential Hazards

Because most kitchens are powered by either gas or electricity, the chances for fire are relatively high. It is not too difficult to get a fire started using either of these forms or energy. However, there are certain areas where fires are more likely to occur due…which is where you need to pay the most attention to.

Open Flames

Open flames are probably the most obvious hazard when it comes to starting a fire. While most open flames are contained in one way or another, it could be easy for those flames to jump to other surfaces or catch different materials on fire. Loosely fitted clothing, like aprons or long sleeves, and hair can easily be left hanging over an open flame, causing those items to catch fire if contact is made.

 Grease Traps

When a grease trap gets more hot grease added on top of it, any debris that has previously fallen into the grease trap could be instantly heated up and cause a fire. Bits of food and even some paper products are likely to fall into the grease trap if the workers haven’t been vigilant about keeping their work areas clean. When boiling, hot grease comes into contact with these items after they have been soaked in grease, a fire could be started.

When there is a large amount of dust or other films on equipment or work areas, it is easier for that debris to catch fire. Cluttered storage areas and work spaces can easily spread fire if the materials filling those spaces are flammable and hard to get to when trying to put a fire out.

Kitchen Fire Danger Unclean Work Areas

When there is a large amount of dust or other films on equipment or work areas, it is easier for that debris to catch fire. Cluttered storage areas and work spaces can easily spread fire if the materials filling those spaces are flammable and hard to get to when trying to put a fire out.

Faulty Electrical Wiring

Keeping equipment in good working order is vital to preventing fires from happening. When wires are frayed or faulty, it is easy for those electrical parts to spark and catch things on fire within your establishment. These sparks create electrical fires, which can be difficult and scary to put out.

 How To Protect Yourself and Your Employees

Just because there is the possibility of fires starting in your restaurant and kitchen doesn’t mean you have to just sit back and let fate take charge of those chances. There is still a lot you can do as preventive measures in order to both prepare your employees to handle a fire situation and to prepare your facility so that it is less likely for fires to start in the first place.

 Regularly Clean Areas

One of the best ways to avoid having a fire start in your kitchen is to keep the areas clean. By eliminating materials that are nonessential to the cooking procedure, you will limit the amount of clutter around your establishment that could catch on fire. This cleaning process should include cleaning grill surfaces, grease traps, walkways, and other work stations. By doing this, food particles and grease—big fire perpetuating agents—are not just resting in work areas waiting to be ignited. Keeping work areas clean also allows employees and other visitors easy escape routes in the event that a fire does break out.

Clean and Quality Equipment MattersOnly Use Properly Functioning Equipment

By ensuring that your employees and kitchen staff are only using equipment that is working correctly and not damaged, you can cut down the chances of having electrical fires as a result of frayed or faulty wiring and power cords on equipment. If you do come across equipment that is defective, get it out of the kitchen as soon as possible. Not only could this equipment start a fire in your restaurant, but it could also harm your employees by electrocuting them. It is more cost effective to replace your worn out equipment before they cause damage to your facility than to wait for a blowout or fire to occur.

 Educate Employees on Proper Fire Procedures

Knowledge is power. If you show your employees that you value being aware of fire safety procedures, this will help them to be vigilant and prepared if the situation were to arise. Be sure everyone knows where fire extinguishers are located and any plans you have made for evacuation in the case of a fire. It is also important to train employees on how to put out small fires of different kinds. Make sure it is common knowledge to your workers not to throw water on grease fires; that will only make it worse. It is also important for your employees to know not to try to fight large fires by themselves. It is better to get out of the dangerous area and wait for help to arrive than to put yourself in even further danger by trying to handle the situation on your own.

If everything in your kitchen is functioning properly, you have employees with attention to detail and a knowledge of how to handle themselves and the facility in the case of a fire, and you have prepared your establishment to be as safe as possible, you should not have to always worry about fires breaking out in your restaurant. However, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to fire safety and the health of your employees, patrons, and restaurant as a whole.

 

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