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Fire Safety Tips For Restaurants This Summer

Hot news:  Arson was said to be the cause of two fast-food restaurant fires that simultaneously happened in Findlay, Ohio last Monday, June 6, 2011.  Other than the two restaurants, two automobiles and a dumpster were also said to have been set afire in an interval of just a few hours.

Wendy’s Restaurant blazed at 2:51 a.m., Burger King followed suit after about an hour (4:09am), while a dumpster fire a few blocks away from the restaurants was also reported at 4:11am.  The damage at Wendy’s in 500 Tiffin Avenue was estimated to be at $1 million, while the damage at the Burger King branch at 1700 Tiffin Avenue is yet to be reported.

Aside from the above incidents, two separate vehicle fires were said to have happened on the same day.  One was reported at 1:18am, while the second automobile fire was found out later in the day.  While fire investigators are certain that arson is the reason for the restaurant and dumpster fires, they still can’t determine if all these devastation are interconnected.  Fortunately, no one was reported hurt in the incidents.

While we’re on the subject of fire, and considering that it’s the summer season, it’s best to be careful and take the necessary precautions to protect your business.  We can’t control arsonists in setting fire to our establishments (God forbids), but you can prevent it.  There is already a number of state-of –the-art video surveillance systems which can detect unauthorized movements of automobiles and individuals who are in your vicinity, and investing on it will be a wise move in looking at the bigger picture to protect your much bigger investment – your business.

We’d also like to give you some quick fire safety tips for your restaurant to avoid any unforeseen blazes this summer:

1   Extensive cleaning. Regularly clean and inspect your kitchen equipments–range hoods, ducting, and grease fans.  Most restaurants hire contractors in maintaining their grease filters and other grease sifting equipments.

2   Maintain your restaurant equipments. Make sure all cookers and fryers have fitted thermostats, and are regularly serviced and cleaned according to their manufacturers’ instructions.  Flammable liquids should never be stored underneath or close to cookers, fryers or obstructing exits.

3   Safety equipments. Fire experts recommend that large cooking and food preparation equipments be guarded by automatic wet chemical systems for its deep fryers.  Wet chemical fire extinguishers and fire blankets also serve as great supplements to protect your establishment.   They should be positioned in easily accessible places and should never be close to vats and hot plates.  Other safety equipments include smoke detectors, sprinklers and carbon dioxide monitors.  Check that they are in sound working condition and have been inspected as per U.S. standards.

4   Proper waste disposal is also an effective fire safety tip for your restaurant.
Part of the maintenance measures of your restaurant should be proper disposal of combustible waste products, considering that dining places accumulate a great deal of wastes in a day.  Make certain that rubbish and recyclable wastes are held in their proper containers with tight lids.

5   Turn everything off. Make sure all facilities are turned off when the restaurant is closed and unattended.

6   Train your staff. Conduct regular staff training regarding fire safety, evacuation methods and in calling emergency hotlines.  It is also important that your kitchen staff is knowledgeable about the appropriate use of kitchen equipments – using, cleaning, and storing of fryers, stove tops, grills, ovens and the like.

Remember that one of the most common causes of fire is kitchen activity — unattended cooking, overheated cooking oil, and explosions of range hoods and ductings.  And your business is all about kitchen activities – so best be safe and take the necessary precautions at all times.