+27 60 837 4667
Client Login
Skip to content
Home » Articles » How to Fight a Kitchen Fire

How to Fight a Kitchen Fire

  • by
How to Fight a Kitchen Fire

Kitchen fires are a major concern for any restaurant manager or owner.As a restaurant manager or owner, it’s crucial to ensure your staff is trained to react effectively in the event of a kitchen fire. Kitchen fires pose a significant risk, and while most are quickly extinguished, some can escalate into a larger problem that can cause property damage and even jeopardise your business. In this guide, we will discuss essential strategies and measures to combat kitchen fires and reduce the associated risks.

Reducing the Risk of Kitchen Fires

The Importance of a Clean Kitchen

Maintaining a clean kitchen is not only vital for food safety but also plays a crucial role in fire safety. According to the National Fire Protection Association’s research between 2006 and 2010, 21% of kitchen fires resulted from inadequate cleaning practices. Grease, which is highly flammable, is a common cause of kitchen fires. It accumulates on various surfaces and appliances, including exhaust ducts and appliance hoods, and can easily ignite from a spark or open flame. Even a small grease fire can rapidly escalate into a large-scale fire. Educating your staff about the dangers of grease buildup and emphasizing cleanliness is essential to prevent kitchen fires.

Avoiding Automatic Suppression System Failure

Automatic fire suppression systems, such as fire sprinklers, gaseous fire suppression, and condensed aerosol fire suppression, are crucial in commercial kitchens. These systems significantly reduce the severity of fires in their early stages and help save lives. However, relying solely on automatic suppression systems can be risky. System failures can occur due to grease clogs, improperly positioned nozzles, or fires spreading to inaccessible areas. To complement automatic systems, it is necessary to provide freestanding fire extinguishers and proper training to your staff. Strategically placing fire extinguishers throughout the workplace and ensuring employees know how to operate them is vital. They should also be aware of the different classes of fires and which extinguishers to use for each type.

Understanding Classes of Fires and Extinguishers

Not all fires are the same, and using the appropriate extinguisher is crucial for effective firefighting. Educate your staff about the different classes of fires, their origins, and the correct extinguishing methods. In most kitchen scenarios, the fires fall under Class K, which involves vegetable or animal oils and fats as fuel. Class K fires are particularly hazardous due to their high flash point and intense heat. To combat Class K fires, wet chemical suppression systems or specialized fire extinguishers designed for grease fires are necessary. Ensure fire extinguishers suitable for Class K fires are placed within 30 feet of areas with a potential for such fires.

Developing a Comprehensive Emergency Plan

Preparing for Emergencies

Despite taking preventive measures, kitchen fires can still occur. It is crucial to have a comprehensive emergency plan in place and ensure all staff members are well-informed. In the event of a spreading fire, everyone should know how to shut off electricity and gas, locate fire extinguishers, and activate the fire suppression system manually. Employees should also be aware of evacuation procedures, including the location of exits and the designated assembly point outside the building. Knowledge of the fire department’s contact number and the location of fire alarms is essential. Additionally, providing training on administering first aid for burns is important, as even small fires can result in injuries.

Fires pose significant risks, claiming lives and causing immense damage each year. Therefore, it is vital to invest time and effort in educating your staff about fire safety and how to effectively combat kitchen fires. By implementing the strategies discussed in this guide, you can reduce the risk of kitchen fires in your restaurant, foster a culture of awareness and readiness, and ensure the safety of your staff and establishment.