Restaurant Kitchen Fire Safety in Nogales, AZ
Fires are one of the dangers in your restaurant kitchen. Typically restaurant fires are caused by flare-ups during food preparation and most likely employee caused. A fire can also start from an oven, burner or electrical and gas connection defects. In addition to physical damage to your restaurant, fires can also cause serious injuries or deaths, and disrupt business operations for days, weeks and even months to come. However, commercial kitchen fires can be prevented. Restaurant owners and managers should implement a plan and start a fire loss prevention program to help reduce the risk of fires.
During Food Preparation: The kitchen should never be left unattended while cooking. If employees must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, all heat sources should be turned off. Be proactive in keeping hot pads, oven mitts, towels, wooden utensils and food packaging away from any heat source. At the end of the day check all burners, ovens and appliances to makes sure they are off.
Kitchen Exhaust Maintenance: One of the most vital components to kitchen fire safety is proper installation and regular maintenance of your kitchen exhaust system. According to National Fire Protection Association -NFPA Code Standard 96 2017 Edition your kitchen exhaust system must be professionally installed. Also regular cleaning of your hoods, grease-removal devices, fans, ducts, filters and other equipment should be serviced by a qualified company with trained Technicians. An inspection and cooking appliances will determine the frequency in which the cleaning will occur. There should be a label (hood sticker) indicating the date the hood was cleaned and the name of the servicing company in a visible location after every cleaning.
Electrical Preventative Maintenance: Another common cause of fires is electrical failures. To prevent electrical fires restaurants should contract with a licensed electrician to perform routine inspections and maintenance on all electrical equipment. Electricians also have an effective tool, Infrared Thermography (IR), which helps with detecting load imbalances and other circuit deficiencies that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. Always check for visible electrical deficiencies by carefully inspecting your facility routinely. In your inspection look for: open or damaged electrical panels, use of extension cords as permanent wiring, electrical tape repairs to wiring – to name a few
Fire Protection Equipment Inspection, Testing and Maintenance: Of course one of the most effective protection measures available is having a properly maintained and monitored automatic sprinkler system. For commercial cooking operations there are also fire suppression protection systems in the exhaust hood. NFPA standards states that all fire protection systems should be installed and serviced by licensed, insured, and qualified contractors. Fire protection should be monitored 24/7 by a central station alarms.
Emergency Response Planning: Complete emergency response plans are important to ensure that your staff and customers can safely exit the building in the event of a fire, or other emergency. The plan should also contain an emergency vendor list with contacts such as; insurance broker claims representative, disaster restoration/remediation contractor, fire protection contractor, electrician, plumber, hood cleaning etc. Following a fire or other major loss, time is of the essence and quick action can lessen further damage and potentially minimize downtime.
Each restaurant is unique and should have a loss prevention program specialized for their specific conditions. Your insurance broker can help develop this customized program that suits your needs. When working on your loss prevention program and if you are searching for a commercial kitchen hood exhaust cleaning company that can help you stay code compliant with NFPA Code 96 and more importantly keep your restaurant safe from fires, contact us at 877.454.6790.