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Consequences of Fire Damage in Restaurants
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Restaurant fires account for the vast majority of commercial fires that are reported every year, no doubt due to the fact that there is a kitchen on the premises that is active for virtually every hour the establishment is open. While restaurant fires are rarely fatal, they are quite destructive, and may very well put the restaurant out of business temporarily or in some cases permanently.
Electricity and gas are the two forms of energy used to power most every kitchen, neither of which are particularly friendly to fire. Electrical fires can be among the most dangerous fires to have to combat, and gas combined with fire may produce a devastating explosion that could easily level the establishment.
Fatalities in restaurant fires are rare, but they do occur and injuries are quite common. The most common cause for these problems is loose clothing and hair coming into contact with open flames. Kitchen areas may be crowded and confusion may ensue if a fire breaks out in this area, unless the employees have been properly trained on what to do in the event of a fire.
Damage may be accented due to the presence of grease traps and other highly flammable elements, such as clutter or garbage in the immediate area. Both of these may cause a fire to burn longer, giving it additional time to wreak more havoc.
All stored food may be destroyed or, at the very least, rendered unusable due to the infiltration of smoke or soot. Other equipment such as drink machines and ice makers may be destroyed or damaged beyond repair as a result of the fire.
While the fire may be confined in most cases to the kitchen, the dining room may be damaged as well, primarily by smoke. Smoke odor is notoriously difficult to remove and soot particles can clog up air filters for days or even weeks until everything is cleaned up and repaired. You may be surprised at just how much damage takes place outside of the actual fire zone.
As with any commercial entity, fire damage almost always leaves employees out of work, at least temporarily, until the building has been repaired and is able to reopen. This lost time results in lost wages, which may put a considerable strain on individual lives and families.
Worse, single entity restaurants may have a harder time recovering from fire related losses. Chain restaurants at least have other locations where customers can be served, whereas single location restaurants have no such fallback position. The loss is what it is, and if the damage is severe enough, the restaurant may find itself with no other alternative than to simply close up. The repair and restorative costs may simply be too much for the owners to handle.
The Hazards of Fire Damage