Fire safety should be the number one concern in any restaurant kitchen. While it's no secret that a major fire can injure employees and patrons while destroying your establishment, even a minor conflagration can cause major damage to expensive kitchen equipment. The following guide will help you keep your kitchen safe from flames.
Tip #1: Go for an Automatic System
A fully automatic suppression system is one of the best investments you can make for your restaurant's safety. A properly installed system will automatically shut down all fuel sources to the kitchen if a flame is detected, which can prevent a dangerous gas explosion. These systems also shut down all appliances automatically and they deploy fire suppression chemicals. Most suppression systems also have a manual activation switch, which provides a back-up if the automatic systems fail. Visit a website like http://www.nwfireinc.com to learn more about these systems.
Tip #2:Keep Extinguishers In Top Shape
You still need portable fire extinguishers, even with an automatic system. Make sure these are easily accessible and easily found throughout the kitchen – especially in areas near stoves and hot appliances where a fire is more likely. Make sure the extinguishers you choose are rated for use on kitchen and grease fires. You may also want extinguishers available that are for use on electrical fires. Fire extinguishers need to be replaced or recharged regularly. Monitor the expiration dates and get them serviced before they expire.
Tip #3: Stay Grease-Free
Grease from foods can also provide fuel for a fire. Schedule monthly inspections and cleanings of the ventilation hoods over your stoves, grills and ovens. This ensures the grease is cleaned out before a hot spark can ignite it. It's also a good idea to monitor grease traps and have them cleaned out before they are completely full. Make sure employees are covering traps when they are done using them, too. Walls, counters, and exterior portions of the vent hood should be cleaned daily with a degreasing cleaner.
Tip #4: Train the Staff
Training your staff in safety procedures is one of the best moves you can make. Ensure that every employee knows how to properly operate the fire extinguishers and the suppression system. Old, expired extinguishers are good to practice with, just do so outside in a secluded area. Also, help staff members develop an eye for safety hazards and teach them to make a visual sweep of their work areas daily. They need to look for items that can fuel a fire, such as a stack of napkins near a burner or greasy walls behind a grill. They should also be in the habit of inspecting the cords of cooking appliances before use for any signs of wear, and reporting any electrical or appliance malfunctions immediately.