The open flames, cooking oils, paper products and hot equipment present in a commercial kitchen have the potential for a fire to get out of control. Thousands of restaurants report fires every year. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that these fires cause an average of $246 million in property damage. A fire can ruin a business and lead to lost revenues. There are, however, a number of steps that business owners can take to prevent a fire from occurring and avoiding disaster.
Many of these fires can be attributed to grease buildup that can block up a restaurant’s system of ventilation. The grease will cause the ventilation to work less efficiently making your kitchen hotter and hotter until it gets to the point where it will ignite, causing a grease fire. A grease fire can rip through the ductwork of your ventilation system and cause damage throughout a building. Throwing water on a grease fire will only make matters worse as the water spread the grease out and only serve to make the fire larger.
One way to prevent grease fires is to train your staff on how to maintain a kitchen that is free of fire hazards and what to do in case a fire starts. Pointing out the location of and replacing fire extinguishers is essential and something that all staff should know about. It is also important to instruct employees to clean up any excess grease that they see. Making sure the kitchen exhaust hoods are grease-free is especially important in order to keep an optimal amount of air flow running through your ventilation.
A second important step to prevent restaurant grease fires is to schedule a regular Boston hood cleaning. Getting a professional to inspect and clean your ventilation system is the best way to ensure that it is working properly. The frequency of these exhaust hood cleaning visits will vary depending on the type of cooking being done in the kitchen. NFPA Fire Code calls for quarterly inspections of systems in high-volume operations and monthly inspections for systems serving solid-fuel cooking appliances.