The restaurant industry is hot right now, but the one place that you don't want to see flames spiraling out of control is in your kitchen. Naturally, the combination of flames, fryers and busy cooking crews all add up to some serious fire risks. For this reason, fire prevention must be one of your biggest priorities.
The good news is that many things can be done to prevent kitchen fires, and making sure that your equipment is up-to-date and well maintained goes a long way toward keeping your restaurant in compliance with local codes. You can also use these strategies to further protect your restaurant from accidental fires.
1. Keep A Clean Kitchen
There are many causes of restaurant kitchen fires, yet most of them can be boiled down to a lack of maintenance or improper storage methods. While kitchen spaces can be small, make sure that there is enough room to store paper materials away from sources of heat.
It is also important for your staff to quickly wipe up grease that spills over onto the cooking space, and small pieces of food should never be allowed to burn on the range.
2. Arrange For Regular Hood And Exhaust Cleaning
The exhaust system in your kitchen plays a valuable role in promoting better air quality by whisking away smoke and other fumes. However, grease and other types of debris combine with the other gases created by cooking. As the smoke rises, grease also gets trapped on the hood and within the exhaust system.
Once grease accumulates on the hood, you have a major fire hazard on your hands. For this reason, most communities have codes in place regarding hood and exhaust inspections and cleanings. Make sure to comply with this regulation, but take it one step further by arranging for a cleaning any time you notice grease building up.
3. Focus On Staff Training
Your cooking crew must know how to prevent fires, and proper fire safety training should be conducted on an ongoing basis. Make sure to train all new staff members on basic fire safety practices such as storing flammable materials away from open flames.
As you cover fire safety strategies, make sure your crew knows where the fire extinguishers are located. It is also helpful to have each member of your crew read the instructions for use so that they do not panic in a true emergency.
It is also important to make sure that your staff follows the dress code. All it takes is one dangling sleeve or long hair falling over the stove to possibly ignite a fire. Establish a dress code for your kitchen crew that makes sure their attire will not pose a fire hazard.
4. Provide Extra Protection With A Fire Suppression System
It is important to remember that fires can still happen, even when you have properly trained your kitchen staff in preventative strategies. For this reason, it is best to install a fire suppression system that prevents flare-ups from happening where they are most likely to occur.
Restaurant fire suppression systems come in a variety of styles and types. However, one of the most effective types connects to the hood and gas line of your main cooking stations. If a fire is detected, these systems can quickly shut off the gas and immediately disperse a wet chemical that is designed to extinguish that type of fire.
At National Hood Exhaust & Fire Group, we offer a variety of services and supplies that are all designed to protect your restaurant from a fire so give us a call today to increase your fire prevention strategies.