When it comes to your restaurant, it is important to make sure that the heat remains in the kitchen. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2010-2014, structure fires in eating and drinking establishments caused $165 million in property damage.
To avoid fire damage in your establishment, follow these helpful tips to reduce your risk of fire!
1. Provide all employees with fire safety training
The level of employee training that you provide can be your first line of defense in preventing fires, or it can become a liability that leads to catastrophic accidents. Proper training helps reduce risky behaviors that can cause fires. Plus, if a fire does happen, well-trained employees will be able to quickly take control of the situation to either put the fire out or lead customers to safety.
Your new employee orientation should include fire safety training, and you should also make it a recurring theme of ongoing training with seasoned employees.
2. Install a fire suppression system
No matter how a fire starts, it is important to suppress it as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, simply dousing a fire with water is generally not an option for restaurants. Grease fires are common in food prep areas, and they spread with water. Also, using handheld fire extinguishers can ruin food inside your kitchen. To prevent the spread and potential food waste, you should invest in a kitchen fire suppression system.
Most fire suppression systems connect to both the hood over your grill and the gas line that runs through your cooking stations. A fire requires three things to thrive: fuel, heat, and oxygen. When your suppression system is triggered, the gas line to your appliances shuts off automatically, taking away the fire's fuel source. The suppression system will discharge a fire suppressant that blankets the flames and starves them of oxygen. In terms of smoke, the suppression system even utilizes a hood to remove the smoke from your kitchen.
Not only does a suppression system put the fire out quickly, but it also saves food in other parts of your kitchen, reducing the monetary loss even further.
3. Regularly inspect all electrical equipment
Restaurants use a lot of electricity – from kitchen appliances to lighting above customer tables. Having all of these items powered at one time can cause a strain on your electrical system and potentially lead to a fire. Over time, electrical cords can fray, and switch plates on your outlets can crack. Make sure that you inspect all of your electrical items regularly for cracks, frays, and other damage. If you do identify a problem, stop using that equipment immediately until you repair or replace it.
4. Use fire-retardant materials
Do you know the differences between fire-retardant materials and fire-resistant materials? Fire-resistant materials resist burning and withstand heat, such as the material in a firefighter’s suit. Fire-retardant materials are designed to burn slowly and contain chemicals that decrease (or eliminate) their flammability.
Purchasing fire-retardant tablecloths, curtains, and napkins will not only help prevent fires, but can also decrease the damage if a fire does break out. Don’t worry, there are many fire-retardant décor options, so you don’t have to sacrifice ambiance and style for safety.
5. Invest in a sprinkler system
Investing in a sprinkler system is a great way to protect your business. Sprinkler systems work by detecting heat and then releasing water from sprinkler heads located over the source. Their ability to release the water almost instantaneously extinguishes the fire quickly before it has a chance to spread.
Want more tips on how to reduce your restaurant’s risk of fire
A fire can be devastating for your restaurant, so it’s wise to invest in measures that can reduce your fire risk. Simple things like installing adequate fire protection equipment and providing your employees with training can be the difference between a small kitchen fire and the destruction of your business. Looking for more fire reduction tips? Speak with an FPS technician today!