Fire Protection in Hamilton: Commercial Kitchen

A commercial kitchen is one of the highest risk places for a fire breaking out. Small fires break out quite regularly in commercial kitchens everywhere. Most of these fires are able to be quickly extinguished before they spread and cause injury or danger. Sometimes, though, kitchen fires spread too quickly to be contained and become structural fires, causing a huge amount of devastation, injuries, and even death.

Commercial kitchens are required to have fire suppression systems that work to quickly extinguish flames that get out of control. In addition to this, it’s helpful for kitchen staff, managers, and building owners to be aware of the common causes of commercial kitchen fires and how to prevent them.

Where There’s Flame, There’s Fire

Obviously, the stove area is a place where fires frequently break out. One of the most common ways that fires start near the stove is from flammable items being left on or around it. Kitchen staff often carry rags slung over their shoulders or tucked into their aprons; this way, they can conveniently grab them if they need to wipe their hands or clean a knife. Unfortunately, these rags often get laid on the edge of the stove where they end up too close to a flaming burner. Cardboard boxes that are stacked too closely to stoves, ovens, or other heat sources can also easily be set aflame. Proper storage of all flammable items can help cut down on kitchen staff having to scramble to put out a sudden fire.

Beware the Fryer Fire

A boiling hot vat of grease or oil holds the definite potential to start a kitchen fire if it’s not strategically placed and properly maintained. Always ensure that your fryer is situated at least 16 inches away from any device that uses an open flame. If you’re working in a very small kitchen, there are noncombustible dividing walls available to help you partition your fryer away from any flames. Make sure the auto-shutoff valve on your fryer is functioning properly so that the unit will shut off its fuel source in the event of a fire. Ensure that all kitchen employees are aware that they should never attempt to put out a grease fire with water; always use a fire extinguisher.

Prevention Tips

1fireOne of the major sources of commercial kitchen fires? Grease. It’s highly combustible and in most kitchens, it ends up everywhere. Whether it’s grease splattered around your deep fryer, grease coating the inside of your oven, or grease covering the surfaces on your stove hood, if you don’t keep a ship-shape kitchen, you’re working inside a greasy tinderbox. Make sure the entire kitchen gets a good wipe down at least once daily and a deep clean to thoroughly degrease everything once a week. In addition to keeping everything wiped clean, make sure you keep your restaurant well-organized. Keep walkways and aisles clear in order to prevent tripping hazards and also to allow for easy evacuation in the event of a serious fire. Also ensure that trash cans are placed well away from stoves, ovens, and other equipment that use flame or high heat that can catch paper or other combustible materials on fire.

Plenty of Fire Extinguishers

If a small fire breaks out, you can often put it out safely and effectively using a commercial fire extinguisher. In a restaurant kitchen, commercial fire extinguishers should be placed no less than every 30 feet to ensure that they are easily accessible. Make sure that your fire extinguishers are inspected and fully-charged so they’ll be functional in case of a fire.

Although commercial kitchens are high-risk areas for fire, with proper planning, organization, and care, you can work hard to ensure that yours is one of the safest. For additional questions, contact Lumar Fire Protection Inc. in Hamilton at 905 855-9993 and talk to one of our experts.

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