The major events and celebrations of life between families, friends, and partners are mostly celebrated in restaurants. There’s something special about dining out with loved ones, gathering at a table, and excitedly waiting for the dishes. Think about it: how many acquaintances have become close inseparable friends after a series of fun lunches in a café restaurant? Or how many strangers have become life long partners after sharing meals across a restaurant table? A restaurant serves as a special place, where so many important relationships begin and are celebrated.
The importance of restaurants also shows not just on an intimate social level but in a bigger economic one. The restaurant industry is a massive economy. According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurant industry sales are projected to total $863 billion this 2019, which is equal to 4% of the national gross domestic product. It is also projected to employ 15.3 million people in 2019 and add 1.6 million jobs over the next decade.
How to Prevent Fire in Restaurant Kitchens
According to a recent survey, Americans are dining out more than ever. 56 percent say that they dine out and take out from food establishments almost two to three times a week while 10 percent of the respondents reveal that they eat out 4-6 times a week, and 6 percent said that every day is a dine-out day for them. For a place that is utilized so often by consumers, where they stay for hours with loved ones, a restaurant’s priority should not be only to offer exceptional dining experience but also ensure that the experience is a safe one.
Prioritizing safety in restaurants
The responsibility of managing a restaurant should not end at offering a remarkable dining experience to your customers. And safety in restaurants should not only revolve around having sanitary measures and proper preparation and handling of food, it should also extend to the kitchen staff who are exposed to different fire hazards every day. Behind a restaurant’s kitchen doors is a different world filled with potential safety risks and danger. With the consistent presence of open flames and hot liquids, the kitchen staff are exposed to fire hazards every day.
Fire prevention and protection are crucial for all restaurants. According to Eater Magazine, more than 8,000 restaurants catch fire every year which costs more than $200 million in property damage annually. If you are a restaurant owner or part of the kitchen staff, here are the most common causes of fire that you need to keep your eye on:
- Cooking flames – According to a 2017 National Fire Protection report, mishandling of cooking oil and other kitchen materials ignited almost half (43%) of restaurant fires.
- Gas leaks – Old and neglected equipment in restaurant kitchens increases the risk of fires. Gas leaks are very dangerous and can result in explosions that can cause the biggest restaurant fires.
- Electrical – Restaurant fires are also commonly caused by unsafe wiring, sockets, and switches that are exposed to flammable and combustible materials.
Fire prevention and protection for restaurants
It’s important to understand that restaurant kitchens are always at risk of a fire. It’s just the nature of this business venture, which is why it’s important to take steps in preventing fire to protect the business, the customers and the workers.
Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid a fire in your food establishment. Whether you own, manage, or work at a restaurant, here are ways you can eliminate the possibility of kitchen fires:
- Install an automatic fire-suppression system
Fire suppression systems are extremely important for preventing fire in a restaurant kitchen. Since almost half of kitchen fires are caused by cooking flames, this system will automatically dispense liquid that will suppress a cooking fire and will shut down the fuel supply in the case of a cooking fire.
- Regular maintenance and inspections
A restaurant kitchen uses a lot of electrical equipment and regular maintenance should be prioritized and scheduled. Preventing fire in the kitchen takes more than just installing the said suppression systems. These systems should also be regularly inspected to make sure that they are properly working and will function when needed. Exhaust systems should also be inspected to catch grease buildups early.
- Invest in fire alarms and security systems
Installing fire alarms and security systems in your restaurant will be a major help in monitoring and keeping an eye on the whole kitchen. Security systems will help catch a small cooking fire or a fire hazard and prevent it from blazing out of control. Even if there’s a small fire, a fire alarm will alert you of the danger, allowing you to make an early decision on whether you need to evacuate the premises. Make it a point to hire a maintenance company that can check the installation, competency, and quality of your fire alarms and security systems.
- Train your kitchen staff
Because of the risk of fire they face every day, it’s important to have a group of kitchen staff who know how to protect themselves in the event of a fire. The restaurant’s kitchen workers are the people who are exposed to the risk of fire and it’s imperative that they know how to prevent an outbreak. Teaching everyone how to use a fire extinguisher, how to properly store flammable liquids and informing them of the agreed emergency plan in the event is a good basis for staff training.
A restaurant is a business that takes years to plan and a huge of money to establish. Yes, you run a business for profit but most restaurant owners have a deep desire to give pleasure to their patrons. They want to do more than feed them, they want to provide them with a place where people can bond and enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures. But first, you’ve got to keep them safe.
Protect your restaurant business with Ted Systems
Ted Systems will help your restaurant business in Kansas City in holding regular maintenance for your fire alarms and systems. Contact TED Systems today and let us help you in keeping your restaurant, workers, and customers safe.