Commercial kitchen fires in the UK can have a damaging effect on businesses as they cause injuries and very occasionally deaths along with property damage. Government statistics show that over half of all fires attended by fire services involve cooking equipment with many of these taking places in kitchens found in restaurants, hotels and fast food outlets. A kitchen fire can take hold very quickly and if you work in a commercial kitchen or own a restaurant there are some steps you can take to prevent fires.
Regular cleaning of grease extract systems
One of the main fire risks is irregular cleaning. Cleaning commercial kitchen equipment daily is tedious but is critical to fire prevention. Canopies and extract systems collect grease and debris, which prevent ventilation and can cause a fire. According to BESA guidance TR/19 ductwork must be cleaned regularly by a professional company; the frequency of cleaning is dependent on the nature of the food cooked and how long the kitchen is open for each day.
Get a fire risk assessment of your premises
As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure” and if you are not sure how to protect your property then contracting a qualified professional to conduct a risk assessment is the sensible thing to do.
Check gas pipes
Gas pipes are often hidden behind kitchen equipment and consequently problems often go undetected until gas is leaking into the air. Regularly moving kitchen equipment away from walls and inspecting and cleaning gas lines will reduce the fire risk they can cause.
Check wall outlets and circuit breakers
As with gas pipes wall sockets are often out of sight but they should also be checked regularly as they are susceptible to corrosion and moisture. Keep the area around circuit breakers clear of obstruction by boxes, rubbish and other debris.
Dispose of grease deposits properly
It is vital that kitchen staff know how to dispose of grease properly when cleaning hobs and ovens. Grease that is scraped away into a tray or not cleaned immediately can harden into a carbon build-up that acts like charcoal and can easily start a fire.
Take care with deep fat fryers
Deep fat fryers used in fast food outlets and restaurants are a common cause of fires. Often they are over-filled which can result in the oil igniting and causing a rapid fire. Deep fat fryers must never be left unattended when in use and must not be overfilled. Also Carbon can form in oil used in deep-fat fryers due to overuse and debris build-up. To prevent this the oil must be filtered daily.
Have fire fighting equipment
If you have the misfortune for a fire to break out in your kitchen then having appropriate fire fighting equipment on hand can prevent a devastating fire. Equipment such as fire blankets and fire extinguishers should be installed in every kitchen and all kitchen workers should know where they are placed. At Ingot we provide professional grease extract cleaning and kitchen deep cleaning services to businesses across the UK. Call us today on 0800 731 7892 to find out more.