Every year, over 8,000 commercial kitchen fires have been reported. The results of a study conducted on over 2,000 of these fires showed that portable fire extinguishers were able to extinguish more than 80% of them. In addition to following other essential safety guidelines, it’s important to ensure that your kitchen’s fire extinguishers are inspected and recharged on a regular basis.
The Leading Causes of Non-Confined Commercial Kitchen and Restaurant Fires
When restaurant building fires occur, 41% of these usually start in kitchens and cooking areas. When cooking equipment ignites, it has been demonstrated to be directly involved with 57% of restaurant fires.
Deep fryers are the cause of 9% of the fires that break out in restaurants and commercial kitchens. Ranges have caused 7% of these fires, and miscellaneous kitchen and cooking equipment are responsible for 5%.
The Importance of Regular Fire Extinguishing System Inspections and Servicing
On average, restaurant and dining establishment fires cause $246 million in direct property damage every year. Given this, the importance of having regular fire extinguisher system inspections and fire extinguisher recharge cannot be sufficiently stressed.
Automatic extinguishing systems need to be inspected and serviced every 6 months. This activity should only be performed by a qualified fire protection service contractor.
There are several situations that determine when existing systems must be replaced. Within this country, 35 states require replacement of non-UL 300 systems under these conditions:
- When cooking equipment is changed
- When cooking equipment is repositioned
- When cooking equipment is replaced
- When the existing system can no longer be maintained
Additional Safety Measures
When a commercial kitchen utilizes wood-and-charcoal-burning ovens, the staff should remove the ashes a minimum of once every day. These ashes should be stored in metal containers that are located at least 10 feet away from combustible materials and buildings.
In the event of a fire, it’s vital to have immediate access to fire extinguishers. These devices should be located within 30 feet from any cooking areas for ease of access.
When to Have a Fire Extinguisher Recharge
After using a fire extinguisher, it needs to be refilled or recharged. In order to ensure that a fire extinguisher recharge is properly handled, a fire extinguisher service should be used. This will take the guesswork out of this process so that your kitchen management and staff will be confident that the extinguisher has been properly refilled in case of an emergency.
Furthermore, when you take your fire extinguishers to be recharged, this can also provide an additional opportunity for fire extinguisher inspections. At this time, you can also inquire about other available fire extinguisher services so that your commercial kitchen or restaurant is in compliance and follows all safety regulations and protocols.