Commercial kitchen fires are common and can have potentially devastating effects on businesses.
Restaurants have open flames, hot equipment, electrical connections, chemicals, paper products, and much more; Commercial kitchens are the breeding ground for fires and extra steps must be taken to prevent them. In this post, we give you some guidelines to prevent fires in the kitchen of your establishment.
How to reduce the risk of fire in restaurants and professional kitchens
A kitchen fire can start in an instant and spread very quickly. Cooking fires have the highest injury rate, it is important to take steps to reduce the likelihood of a fire to protect employees and customers.
Here are some guidelines for preventing fires in your kitchen:
Get a fire risk assessment of your facilities
With fires, prevention is better than cure. If you are unsure of how to best protect your business, this is where fire risk assessments come into play. In accordance with the law, a professional will identify the hazards in your facility that could result in a fire and how to mitigate the threat. Please note that it is important to have it carried out by a qualified fire risk assessor.
Adequate and regular training of staff
It's simple; If your personnel are trained beforehand, they will know the correct steps to take to ensure that a fire does not start or get out of control. If training is not provided, then their own lives are in danger, and in turn everyone else in the establishment could be affected as well. Therefore, regular training should be emphasized and ongoing, and should be mandatory for all recruited staff members.
If necessary, remind staff of the basics as well, such as not leaving food unattended or keeping access to fire blankets unobstructed at all times. Once bad habits are established, there is always the risk that they will one day be fatal.
You should also know the evacuation procedures, as well as the use of fire safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, so that you and the staff will know how to use them when the time comes.
EU directives implemented by OSHA, aimed at reducing general health risks in the workplace, require employers to carry out a workplace risk assessment of all safety and health risks , including the risks of dangerous substances, and establish adequate protection and prevention measures. .
Maintain order and proper cleanliness
It probably goes without saying that a kitchen should be clean, but special attention should be paid to keeping areas free of oil and grease. Grease build-up inside ranges and oven surfaces can cause a fire, so regular cleaning of ovens and equipment is essential.
Grease build-up is a common problem in the kitchen and you should seek to clean all traces of grease from all surfaces, as this will avoid restricting airflow depending on what you are cleaning. Grease abounds in many kitchens, but a strict cleaning schedule could combat that. Our cleaning tanks are equipment designed to remove embedded grease and dirt from: Extractor filters, pans, pots, pans, stoves, burners, internal parts of the oven, trays, frying baskets, roasting cans, kitchen lids, filters of bells, etc.
In general, kitchens should be an orderly environment, without any clutter that could block exits and prevent escapes in an emergency. All used cooking oil must also be disposed of properly and should not be left on the premises for longer than necessary. Our oil filter machines will help you keep the oil in perfect condition and free of dirt that can promote any accidental fire.
Fire hazards also need to be addressed. Flammable products should be stored properly and in airtight containers, as well as paper products and boxes from heat and cooking sources, while chemical solutions should also be used correctly.
Never leave the kitchen unattended
The golden rule of thumb for preventing domestic and non-household fires in the kitchen is to always pay attention to what you are doing. In a busy restaurant kitchen, this may not always be easy, but timers can be really helpful in alerting chefs when food is ready, to prevent it from being left in the ovens for longer than it should.
If for any reason cooking must be stopped, it is important that all staff have instructions to turn off the appliances and remove the pots from the heat. Even if you think you will only be absent for a moment, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Make sure your employees wear appropriate clothing
All staff should be very familiar with this basic safety rule, but in smaller establishments this may be less strictly regulated. Loose-fitting clothing should not be worn while cooking, sleeves should be rolled up and long hair pulled back. Aprons are great for keeping clothes away from flames.
Footwear can be crucial in a kitchen, especially if you don't have slip-resistant shoes.
There are always spills in a kitchen due to the fast-paced environment; there is always something to do and someone may overlook or forget to clean up a spill. If you pass a lit fire and slip, you may accidentally hit something that could ignite a much larger fire.