According to the U.S. Fire Administration, commercial kitchen fires cause over $100 million in damage every year. Kitchen fires are extremely dangerous and can lead to personal injury, loss of life, and massive property damage. Below, we’re going to discuss how property and business owners can help prevent commercial kitchen and cooking fires.

Why Are Kitchen Fires so Serious?

Kitchen fires are the most common source of fires in businesses, and they’re responsible for more than half of all fires that start.

Kitchen fires are particularly dangerous because they often start or spread due to the buildup of grease. Grease is not only highly flammable but can also splash and spread fire rapidly. Grease is continuously being produced in commercial kitchens in high quantities and is usually found near open flames.

Below are some tips that can help reduce the chance of a kitchen fire starting. Implementing these in your commercial kitchen can help keep your property and employees safe.

1 – Remove Grease Regularly

It is imperative to clean grease and areas exposed to it thoroughly on a daily basis. Grease buildup in the kitchen will inevitably be exposed to open flames and can cause a fire to start and spread very rapidly. Pay special attention to your ventilation system, which is designed to catch grease.

2 – Service Your Equipment

Ensure that your appliances and equipment are adequately maintained at all times. Updated and maintained equipment with adequate fire-suppression technology can help keep a fire localized if one does occur in your kitchen.

3 – Maintain Your Fire Suppression System

A proper fire suppressions system can be the difference between a localized fire and total property loss. Installing and maintaining a fire suppression system can not only help mitigate damage and injury, but it’s also required by law. 

4 – Train Your Employees

Every person working in or around your commercial kitchen must be appropriately trained to respond to a grease fire. They should be reminded of extinguisher locations, how to use the equipment, and how to respond to a fire if one does start.

5 – Maintain a Safe Environment

Inspect your kitchen regularly for frayed electrical wires, trip hazards, and proximity of flammable materials to ovens, cooktops, or other sources of fire. While a fire can occur anywhere at any time, maintaining a safe kitchen that isn’t prone to accidents is one of the best ways to reduce the chance of fire.

Most business owners are aware that fire extinguishers are a legal requirement in their buildings. However, many are unaware of several other facts about fire extinguishers that can help keep their property and employees safe and their facility in compliance. Below, we’re going to discuss why fire extinguishers are so important and what you need to know about them as a business owner.

The Importance of Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are most important because they can protect your building and employees in the case of a fire. Correctly placed and maintained extinguishers can help put out or slow down the spread of a fire, giving the people inside more time to escape and limiting property damage. They’re also a legal requirement and must be appropriately placed, or you may face penalties.

What Can Happen if You Don’t Have All the Facts

Several things can happen if you fail to provide proper fire extinguisher placement and maintenance. First, you could be fined if you’re found in violation of the requirements set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA).

Second, you may be inadvertently putting your employees and your property at higher risk. Not having the proper, functioning fire extinguishers in your building could mean that a fire spreads more readily, endangering anyone in your facility and potentially leading to total property loss.

Things You Need to Know

As a business owner, you should be informed about the following fire extinguisher facts:

1 – You Need to Have the Right Kind of Extinguishers

There are a few different types of fire extinguishers, each designed for use based on the kind of fire. Whether your building requires ABC, CO2, or Class-K extinguishers depends on your business and building setup. Contact a highly trained professionals if you need help determining which type you need, if you need to purchase new extinguishers, or have your existing ones inspected.

2 – They Need to Be Inspected Regularly

You or one of your employees needs to inspect your extinguishers monthly and record your findings. In addition, a professional inspection is required annually by a professional.

3 – They Expire and Need Recharging

Fire extinguishers don’t last forever. Even if your monthly inspections don’t uncover damage or malfunction, you need to replace your equipment regularly. They may also need to be recharged to ensure they’ll work if you need them to put out a fire.

4 – There Are Requirements for Placement in Your Building

Even if you have the right extinguishers for your building, you can be fined or expose yourself to excessive property damage if they aren’t appropriately situated in your building’s layout. They need to be easily accessible and in a logical area for fire suppression.

5 – You Can’t Just Throw Out Old Extinguishers

Lastly, fire extinguishers need proper disposal. You can often deliver them to your local fire department for disposal or bring them to a facility that manages chemical disposal.

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