Preventing Grease Fires and Restaurant Risk Management

A major threat to any restaurant or bar owner is fire, which can be costly and ultimately destroy your business. Everything from grease accumulation to equipment malfunction and something as simple as poor housekeeping all carry the potential to create a serious fire hazard. Every year deadly fires, whether accidental, or caused by arson or natural causes decimate a slew of businesses across the Country. Unfortunately, average annual losses include two civilian deaths per year, 115 civilian injuries and $246 million in property loss, according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA).

While over 70 percent of restaurant fires remain relatively small, they are still responsible for their share of damage to this industry. The loss of revenue, coupled with the stress this puts on your employees and the added cost of repairs can make rebounding from an incident an expensive task. If your business carries adequate amounts of insurance your company can be saved or restored, but in order to avoid these types of incidents altogether you need a sound restaurant risk management plan.

Proper cleaning can reduce the odds of a fire occurring

Grease and oil is a huge fire hazard owing to its highly combustible nature. Since most commercial cooking generates grease, there really is no way to completely erase the threat of fire. However, there are precautions you can take to decrease the likelihood of a potentially catastrophic event. This is where your restaurant risk management planning should begin.

Exhaust hoods and ducts are designed to collect cooking vapors and residues. Poorly cleaned hoods and ducts account for 21 percent of all fires. The NFPA’s fire code prescribes the minimum fire safety guidelines for cooking equipment, exhaust hoods, grease removal devices, exhaust ductwork and all other components involved in the capture, containment and control of grease-laden cooking residue. The NFPA standards are considered necessary to provide an appropriate level of protection against damage to property and loss of life.

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