How To Eliminate Fire Threats In A Commercial Kitchen

fire escape plan

All around the world, thousands of fires erupt in public places. It is not surprising that many of these occur in commercial kitchens. Commercial fires can lead to money loss, injury and possibly even death.

Having an adequate, well-maintained fire suppression system in a commercial kitchen is absolutely crucial.

What are the top fire hazards in a commercial kitchen?

The deep fryer

Deep fryers are full of oil, which could cause a serious fire if proper safety precautions are not taken. All fryers should:

  • Be able to automatically shut off in the event of a fire
  • Be placed at least 40 cm away from any equipment that produces an open flame

    The oven

    The best way to prevent a fire from occurring as a result of the oven is to:

  • Clean the oven regularly - which will ensure there is no build-up of combustible substances
  • Only put non-combustible materials in the oven
  • Place the oven far away from other equipment to prevent heat transfer

    The trash disposal

    Trash cans should be:

  • Comprised of non-combustible materials
  • Emptied regularly to prevent the build-up of combustible substances
  • Kept away from any open flame
  • Have a sturdy covering

    The fire extinguisher

    Commercial kitchens should have at least two fire extinguishers. Keep in mind that:

  • One Class K fire extinguisher is necessary as these respond best to grease fires
  • A standard ABC fire extinguisher should be available for any other type of fire
  • It is necessary for one fire extinguisher to be placed 3 meters from any cooking equipment
  • All staff should be trained to handle a fire extinguisher
  • All fire extinguishers must be serviced and maintained regularly

    Ventilation system

    Each and every commercial kitchen requires a hood, which is joined to a ventilation system. The ventilation system must be directed to the exterior of the building. The hood and vents should:

  • Be sturdy
  • Be made from a non-combustible material, such as steel
  • Be cleaned and maintained regularly to prevent grease build-up
  • Contain grease filters that are easy to remove and clean
  • Cover all equipment that produces heat, namely stoves, ovens, fryers, etc.

    The lights

    While it is not likely for lights to cause actual fires, light bulbs can cause injuries in the event of a fire in a commercial kitchen. If a light bulb becomes too hot, the air inside the bulb will expand and cause the bulb to explode. Light bulbs should:

  • Be covered using explosion-resistant covers when above or near cooking equipment

    What do commercial kitchen staff need to know?

  • During each shift, at least one staff member is required to have access to and be trained regarding gas control valves (or any other fuel valves) in order to shut these valves off in the event of a fire.
  • All staff are to be trained with respect to the safety equipment in the kitchen and systematic fire safety and fire prevention training should be provided.

    Read more...

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