About one-third of all restaurant fires originate within the kitchen area, and they’re usually flash fires on cooking products. Prevention of these incidents demands two essential steps: control of ignitable sources and control of combustible materials. The most typical source from the kitchen fire is grease, a natural by-product of many cooking processes.
When fats are heated, they change from solid to liquid. They’re then drained off within the form of oil, or they become atomized particles in the air, propelled upward by the thermal currents from the cooking procedure. Low-temperature cooking creates more liquid grease; high-temperature cooking produces a lot more grease-laden vapor.
The vapor is sucked into the exhaust hood where, as it cools, it settles on surfaces and becomes a fire hazard within the exhaust program. If the kitchen area staff has had the correct training and the correct safety products is available, the range-top fire can be extinguished within moments. If not, it can rapidly expand into the ductwork, reaching 2000 degrees Fahrenheit since it comes into contact with extremely flammable grease and lint particles.
Consequently, an automatic fire safety program is a necessity. In fact, most state insurance departments require a fire safety inspection from an exhaust hood expert prior to insurance coverage businesses can issue a commercial fire insurance coverage policy. As we’ve mentioned, the site should usually be reinspected every six months to maintain the insurance coverage in force.
Even if the six-month rule doesn’t apply in your area, it’s a good idea to have your program professionally cleaned and checked twice a year anyway. The National Fire Safety Association (NFPA) is the authority on this topic and sets the stringent regulations for commercial kitchen area installations. Most canopy manufacturers provide fire safety methods as part of their package, including installation, but you can also hire an independent installer.
An automatic fire safety system, consists of spray nozzles located above every piece of external (not ovens) cooking products about the hot line. You will find very particular rules about the numbers of nozzles and their locations: Range tops require 1 nozzle for every 48 linear inches. Griddles require 1 nozzle for each six feet of linear space. Open broilers (gas, electric, or charcoal) require one nozzle for each 48 inches of broiler area.
Tilting frying pans need one nozzle for a area 48 inches in width. Fryers require 1 nozzle apiece or 1 nozzle for each 20 inches of fryer surface. Nozzles are placed between 24 and 42 inches above the top of the equipment. (This varies depending about the kind of appliance.) The nozzles activate instantly to shoot water or perhaps a liquid fire retardant at the cooking area when the temperature reaches 280 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
The heat detector may be located in the ductwork or within the hood. Inside the ductwork, there is also an internal fire protection system-a fuse link or perhaps a separate thermostat is wired to instantly close a fire damper at the ends of each section of ductwork. The exhaust fan shuts off, along with a spray of water or liquid fire retardant is released to the interior. Other, similar systems can be operated by hand rather than instantly.
Some maintain the exhaust fan running, to assist remove smoke during a fire. In addition towards the exhaust system’s fire protection, several handheld fire extinguishers should be mounted about the kitchen walls, and employees ought to know how to use them. The automated program, when it’s triggered, is so thorough that you should close the kitchen and begin a major cleanup, so frequently a handheld extinguisher is sufficient for minor flare-ups, along with a lot less messy.
These days, most insurance coverage requires Class K-type fire extinguishers in commercial kitchens. The NFPA classifies fires by the kind of material that is burning; “K” (for “kitchen”) was added to the list in 1998. These fire extinguishers work about the principal of saponification, the term for applying an alkaline mixture (for example potassium acetate, potassium carbonate, or potassium citrate) to burning cooking oil or fat.
The combination creates a soapy foam that quenches the fire. Finally, as with any other public making, ceiling-mounted sprinkler methods are also worth investigating, simply because their installation might significantly reduce your insurance coverage costs. There’s a typical misperception that, if it detects even one wayward flame, the entire sprinkler program will douse the whole making, but this is generally not the case.
Actually, most restaurant sprinkler systems have heads that activate only when a fire is detected directly beneath them. Ask your local fire department for suggestions and fire security training tips for employees. And by all means, keep up with those fire inspections. In recent years, insurance coverage companies have challenged kitchen area fire claims, and courts discover the restaurateur is at fault-and cannot collect the insurance money for fire damage-when routine maintenance and cleaning has not been performed.