Commercial cooking operations present a significant fire risk to a property owner for property loss because of the availability of ignition sources (e.g. burners) and a high fuel-load (e.g. fats and grease). A major component of fire protection for any property is management’s direct involvement with a commitment to good fire prevention with knowledge, awareness and maintenance of fire protection equipment by providing education and training to employees, requiring good housekeeping practices with self-inspection and improvement programs. The following information can assist in assessing the fire exposures of commercial cooking operations.
All grease-laden, vapor producing cooking equipment, such as ranges, deep fat fryers, and steamers, are installed in compliance with NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations.
All commercial kitchen fire extinguishing systems are UL 300 compliant and inspected and serviced twice annually by a qualified fire extinguishing system contractor, tagging the system indicating the date of service.
Class K fire extinguishers are provided within 10 feet (3.05 m) of any cooking equipment.
Kitchen cooking equipment is inspected on a regular basis (i.e., quarterly for high-volume cooking operations, semiannually for moderate-volume cooking operations, and annually for low-volume cooking operations.) Cooking appliances are installed with adequate clearance to prevent overheating of adjacent surfaces. Control valves for gas service is readily accessible and in good working condition.
Solid-fuel cooking equipment, other than equipment of solid masonry or refractory concrete, is protected by a water-based fire extinguisher system.
Solid fuel cooking appliances are inspected at least monthly.
Deep-fat fryers are installed with at least a 16-inch (4.06 cm) space between the fryer and surface flames of adjacent cooking equipment. Deep-fat fryers are equipped with automatic fuel cutoff valves.
Kitchen cooking equipment is provided with hoods and ducts for collecting cooking vapors and residues to the exterior of the building constructed of steel or equivalent material, and equipped with easily accessible and removable noncombustible grease filters. Hoods and ducts should have an accessible opening for inspection and cleaning.
Grease traps located under filters are pitched to drain into a metal container.
Hoods and ducts are cleaned semi-annually by a qualified contractor, tagging the system indicating the date of service.
All employees are trained in the safe operation of cooking equipment, including combustion of fuel-air mixtures; explosion hazards; sources of ignition; functions of controls and devices and what to do in the event of a fire.
Taking a few minutes each month for training of employees and inspection and maintenance of commercial kitchen equipment can help prevent a fire event from occurring by reducing the risk factors for fires.