Every year thousands of restaurant fires are reported in USA, causing millions of dollars in loses to their owners. According to recent statistics, less than 15% of restaurants across the country are protected by a sprinkler system. Approximately 90% of eating establishments are equipped with overhead hoods with suppression systems in their kitchens. About 65% of all restaurant fires are the result of cooking equipment along with cooking materials which are usually the accelerants. Around half of these fires involve deep fryers, others are caused by cooking ranges and cooking grills.
Restaurants have all the ingredients to make a fire blaze out of control – open flames, cooking oil, hot equipment, electrical connections, cleaning chemicals and paper products. A fire emergency can occur at any time due to these factors or even a little carelessness. Gaining an understanding of these fire hazards and how to reduce the risk can ensure prevention of property damage, business downtime and most importantly – injury or loss of life.
What are grease fires?
Let’s look at the leading cause of fires in restaurants – grease. It is one of the most serious fire hazards in restaurant kitchens because of its flammable nature and how it can build up quickly. Grease can catch fire without a flame after a certain temperature. Also, grease traps in your kitchen hood that aren’t cleaned properly can start a sudden fire.
Often a grease residue can build up quickly on exhaust hoods and their ducts. If this catches fire, your restaurant could be in big trouble without the correct equipment to douse this kind of blaze. You’ll be kicking yourself when you realize it could have easily been prevented by having the kitchen exhaust fan cleaned along with the entire duct and grease trap. Instead of paying a couple of hundred dollars extra for kitchen hood cleaning, you will now spend thousands on restoring your burnt down restaurant.
Restaurant owners that are thorough professionals know there is no compromise where the safety of guests and staff is concerned. As experts have learned over the years, being organized and keeping the kitchen clean is essential for running a profitable business. If you know someone reliable for kitchen exhaust fan repair ask them contact details for a company that specializes in kitchen hood cleaning.
Benefits of kitchen hood cleaning
Some of the advantages of clean kitchen hoods in restaurants are:
- All unwanted smells, smoke and gases are effectively removed from the kitchen.
- Walls look clean without discolouration caused by grease fumes.
- Work environment in the kitchen is positive because employees know you are worried about their safety.
- Heat from the cooking range is absorbed by the kitchen hood.
How to extinguish a grease fire
The most important thing to remember when a grease fire breaks out is not to use water. One of the reasons not to do this is because the grease will float on water and spread even further and faster. For small kitchen fires, start by turning off the heat source. Then try to remove all the oxygen that is fueling the flames – cover it with a utensil. If you are unable to cover the fire, dump baking soda on it. In certain cases, where the fire is blazing, cautiously use a fire extinguisher from a careful distance. Shooting anything pressurized at the grease fire might spread it. Starving the flame with a fire extinguisher might take longer than you expect – be patient and stay calm. If the fire gets out of hand, immediately dial 911 and leave the premises along with the other employees.
To prevent any mishaps and accidents, keep your restaurants work area well organized and clean. Hire a certified kitchen hood cleaner for the exhaust fan, duct and grease traps. Don’t delay kitchen exhaust fan cleaning or repair.