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Fire Damage in Restaurants
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Across the country, kitchens are the number one cause of house fires. It's no wonder due to the amount of time spent cooking over open flames which are often gas-powered, and the continual use of electricity, the area is prime for an unexpected ignition if the person doing the cooking is not diligent in their safety protocols.
As a logical extension, restaurant fires are even more common. Instead of one or two small meals a day, you have kitchens that are active for eight to twelve hours per day (sometimes more), increasing the opportunity for fires to occur. Grease fires and electrical fires are common and are fully capable of causing extreme damage if not rapidly extinguished.
Even worse, the restaurant will lose considerable business during the time it takes to repair and restore the structure following a fire. Restaurant owners are advised to make sure all fire prevention protocols for their place of business are in effect and working properly.
Establish Fire Prevention Procedures
Conduct regular facility inspection during normal business hours as well as before leaving the premises at the end of the day. This will confirm that any and all hazards have been dealt with.
Establish and follow through on strict cleaning procedures designed to eliminate grease buildup in the exhaust and ventilation systems such as filters, hoods, and air ducts. Also, make sure that all fire extinguishing equipment has been serviced according to the manufacturer's recommendations, and that they will properly function when needed. All restaurant staff should be trained in the use of all fire extinguishing equipment.
Make sure there is proper ventilation between cooking equipment such as stoves or ovens to prevent excess heat buildup. Eliminate the storage of combustible materials in and around any area that may contribute to the spread of a fire.
Create a Fire Safety Plan
Restaurant owners should also have a fire safety plan in effect, addressing the following concerns:
- The contents of the building and its furnishings
- The installed fire protection systems
- The frequency and quality of all fire protection systems maintenance, cooking appliances, ventilation, refrigeration, and heating and air systems
- Housekeeping and operating practices
- Emergency awareness
Restaurants should also have an evacuation plan in place, with all employees made aware of their role in the event of a fire, and what they are responsible for when it comes to the safety of their patrons.
Restaurant owners and managers should also have the contact information for their local water and fire restoration provider. Timing is everything following water damage. The damage needs to be cleaned up as quickly as possible, not only to avoid more serious long term problems, but also to help get the establishment back to doing business as rapidly as possible. Remember that every day you’re shut down translates into money lost.
The company you choose should offer 24-hour-a-day availability, same-day service, and a complete range of services designed to repair and restore your property as rapidly as possible.
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