Owning a restaurant is both rewarding and challenging. Rewarding because you earn from your profits and you can see the smiles of your patrons after dining in your restaurant. However, it is also challenging in a sense because you have to maintain the highest form of sanitation inside your dining and kitchen area.
One of the reasons you need to have regular hood cleaning is it serves as your protection against restaurant fires. Studies conducted show that one of three fires in the United States is caused by restaurant fire. This is because restaurants have all the necessary factors for a fire to start. With its heavy cooking processes, all the deep fryers and heating equipment involved the electrical wirings and the flammable materials that can be found inside it, restaurant fire hazard is high.
Top causes of restaurant fires
NFPA-96 Standard provided the list of the top contributors of a restaurant fire. Below are the top five and the reasons why.
- Cooking equipment
According to NFPA, from 2010-2014, approximately 61% of restaurant fires in America are caused primarily by cooking- with cooking equipment as the main cause. It makes sense that cooking equipment results in the most number of fires and property damage for restaurants since it is a constant source of heat and fuel throughout the working day.
- Electrical distribution and lighting equipment
Frayed electrical cords or faulty equipment are more likely to spark and cause an electrical fire inside your restaurant.
Some of the electrical hazards which can cause a restaurant fire include the following:
- Worn electrical cords
- Damaged extension cords
- Faulty wiring
- Damaged receptacles
- Ungrounded outlets
- Faulty electrical appliances
It is important to check your electrical wirings with a professional to ensure safety and compliance in building codes.
- Heating equipment
Deep fryers deal with hot oil and grease more than any other piece of cooking equipment. Proper maintenance and cleaning of your heating equipment are helpful to prevent misuse which can lead to a restaurant fire. It is also important to note here that your kitchen exhaust systems should also be properly cleaned to avoid clogs in your kitchen hoods.
- Smoking materials
Fires caused by cigarettes account for 1,000 deaths in the U.S every year. Most restaurant fires are started by embers igniting on furniture and trash cans. It can be prevented by proper staff training. Always inform your kitchen staff not to smoke on areas which have highly-flammable materials.
Arson or the intentional burning of the restaurant is the last factor for a restaurant fire. With its minimal contribution in a restaurant fire, this activity is also hazardous. It is responsible for 5% of the restaurant fires and if not prevented, many innocent lives will also suffer.
In addition to knowing these, you should always have a plan to prevent a fire in your restaurant. A responsible owner creates a plan in case of emergency. Prevention is always better than losing your investment in facilities and in people.