In any restaurant kitchen, there is a risk of a fire. Fire safety systems and protocols are put into place in an effort to prevent fires and to ensure that if one does break out, it is dealt with promptly. However, common fire safety issues in kitchens compromise these efforts. If you want to reduce the risk of your restaurant going up in flames, make sure you look for and address these issues.
Uncovered extinguisher nozzles.
Whether you have a water sprinkler system or an Ansel system, you need to make sure the nozzles that emit the water or chemical extinguisher product are kept covered. The rubber caps will blow off automatically if the system must be used — don’t take them off thinking they will block the flow. When the nozzles are left exposed, they can become clogged with grease, which may keep them from spraying effectively if there is a fire.
If you notice that your nozzles are missing caps, it is a good thing to have them properly cleaned, and then to invest in new caps to put on them. Ensure that all of your staff members know never to remove the caps from the sprinkler nozzles.
Fire suppression systems that don’t cover all appliances.
It is common for kitchens to accumulate new appliances and to simply set them next to the others, not realizing that they extend out from underneath the fire suppression system. Before you get a new fryer, cook top, or other appliance, make sure there is room underneath the sprinkler system for it. If there is not, you will need to make changes to your kitchen layout or have the sprinkler system extended to cover it.
If you have appliances that are not currently located underneath your sprinkler system, stop using them until you can have your sprinkler system extended. If a fire breaks out in a fryer or stove that is not under the sprinklers, the whole building could be up in flames by the time the fire department arrives.
Failure to have the fire suppression system serviced regularly.
In many jurisdictions, you must have your fire suppression system inspected on a regular basis (once a year or once every few years) to ensure it is working properly and does not have any developing issues. If you fail to do this, you may find that when a fire breaks out, your system is of little to no use. Always pay close attention to your records and have your fire suppression system inspected as soon as it is due. If the inspector finds anything wrong with the system, have repairs made as soon as possible to avoid emergencies.
For more information, visit http://www.nwfireinc.com or a similar website.