As most of us learned at a young age, fire protection and prevention are incredibly important. In fact, the words of Smokey the Bear are probably running through your head right now. Still today, fires are a major source of property damage and destruction, particularly in the commercial industry. In fact, fires in restaurants cause a yearly average of nearly $250 million in damage — and that’s not including any personal injury to customers or employees.
Restaurants are required to follow a variety of strict regulations to keep customers and employees safe. For example, a qualified contractor should conduct fire extinguisher inspections every six months, especially if the kitchen has installed an automatic extinguishing system. The contractor is even able to check to see if a fire extinguisher recharge is necessary.
Restaurant owners should also be sure to keep all fire extinguishers within 30 feet of cooking areas, as these are the locations in which a fire is most likely to occur. More than half of restaurant fires involve cooking equipment, which indicates that the kitchen is most prone to fires. In the event of a fire, this practice also makes it much easier for individuals involved to find nearby equipment and extinguish the fire before it continues to grow.
It’s also never a bad idea for restaurant owners to equip the building with a few smaller, portable fire extinguishers. These have been known to be incredibly beneficial during restaurant fires and are often credited with extinguishing more than 80% of fires. It is important, however, to ensure that these undergo regular fire extinguisher services, as well.
Fire extinguisher inspections are important because they help to keep the equipment up to date. Because fire extinguishers are not used every single day, it can be easy to miss any necessary repairs on the equipment. However, with regular inspections by qualified contractors, restaurants can ensure that every extinguisher in the building is functioning, and will be effective in putting out any potential fires.
Finally, it is always good practice to remove ashes from wood and charcoal burning ovens at least once a day. These should be stored outside, in metal containers, and kept at least ten feet away from the building. This is because ashes are still incredibly hot and flammable. Improper handling can lead to the start of a fire and thousands of dollars in damage, or personal injury.
With proper fire extinguisher servicing, such as fire extinguisher inspections, and effective policies, fires can be prevented. And should a fire occur, they can more easily be extinguished before getting out of control and leading to even more property destruction.