Kitchen fires are a real danger in restaurants. They are usually caused by grease buildup. When fats are heated they change from a solid to a liquid. Low temperature cooking creates more liquid grease, while high temperature cooking produces more grease vapor. As this grease vapor is sucked into the exhaust hood, it cools and settles on surfaces that become fire hazards within the exhaust system. The grease builds up over time which increases the possibility of a fire. That is why it is so important to have your kitchen exhaust system cleaned regularly.
To prevent kitchen fires, these three things should be included:
Ventilation and Hood Systems
- A kitchen ventilation and hood system will effectively remove the heat, grease and grease laden vapors from the cooking area.
- The system will include an exhaust hood or canopy, ductwork, fan system, and a means of providing adequate make-up air.
- They should be installed by professionals and be cleaned on a regular basis to remove any accumulated grease once in use.
Fire Suppression Systems
- All cooking equipment that produces grease or grease-laden vapors must be protected by an approved automatic extinguishing system.
- The system should be inspected and serviced every six months by a qualified contractor.
- A minimum of one manual activator is required as part of the system in case of an emergency.
- The manual activator must be accessible in the event of a fire and located along a route of departure from the kitchen area.
- Kitchen staff must be properly trained on the proper operation of the manual activator.
- The system must be inter-connected to an automatic fuel/power shut off that cuts all fuel/power from the cooking equipment immediately after the automatic extinguishing system is activated.
- K-rated wet chemical fire extinguishers are required in commercial kitchens. The agent discharges as a fine mist, which helps prevent grease splash and fire re-flash, while cooling the appliance and cooking oil.
- The fire extinguisher should be located no more than 30 feet from the cooking equipment.
- Fire extinguishers must be maintained at regular intervals. Maintenance should be conducted only by an approved certified contractor.
Having the right equipment, installed and maintained properly, to extinguish any flames can make the difference between an inconvenient mess and a business ruined. Call Fire Control Systems for any kitchen fire prevention needs.