Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Safety In The Kitchen

Bison's Tips for Kitchen Fires

With the introduction and advancement of massive electric appliances and the large quantity of cooking oils present in modern industrial kitchens, kitchen fires are more common, and harder to extinguish, than ever before.

Industrial kitchen fires do happen, but can be safely controlled with the right equipment and knowledge. Follow these tips to extinguish kitchen fires safely, and to prevent future flares from occurring.

What to Do: Oven Fires

Fire requires oxygen to keep burning. If a fire breaks out within an oven, do not open the oven door. This will only feed the flames, and can cause severe burns, or the spreading of flames.

If you discover a fire within an oven:

  • Keep the oven door closed
  • Immediately unplug the appliance.
  • Stay in the room to monitor the flames, which should eventually extinguish themselves with the lack of oxygen.
  • Once the fire is out and the oven has cooled, you can begin the clean-up process.

What to Do: Grease Fires

In industrial kitchens, fires which break out are usually grease-based fires. This type of fire is a bit more dangerous, and must be dealt with differently than a regular fire.

If you discover a grease fire within a kitchen:

  • Turn off the heat source immediately by unplugging the appliance. Do not attempt to turn off an element close to the fire, as grease fires spread extremely quickly.
  • Do not throw water onto a grease fire. This is the worst thing you could do to a grease fire, as water does not mix with oil. Instead, it sinks to the bottom of the grease fire, immediately evaporates, and causes the flaming oil to spread everywhere.
  • Attempt to smother the flame using a metal pot or pan.
  • Small grease fires can be extinguished by spreading a large amount of baking soda over the flames.

Keep Fire Extinguishers Accessible

Since there are numerous types of fires that can occur within an industrial kitchen, all kitchen should be equipped with more than one type of fire extinguisher. The two fire extinguishers that should be kept in every large kitchen are:

  • Class K: These extinguishers are designed to put out grease fires, caused by vegetable or animal fats in commercial cooking equipment. These extinguishers should be kept no more than 10 feet away from cooking appliances.
  • Class ABC: For small, non-grease based fires, the ABC extinguisher should be used. Keep these extinguishers accessible and in view.

All fire extinguishers in industrial kitchens should be checked monthly by kitchen staff, and inspected and certified annually by a fire protection equipment professional.

Clean the Kitchen Regularly

Many fires that break out in large, industrial kitchens are caused by dirty equipment with a large amount of grease build-up. Inspect all areas of the kitchen regularly, and ensure that these pieces of equipment have been cleaned of excess grease residue:

  • Hood and vent systems, since grease can splash and build-up in the ventilation system.
  • Exhaust systems.
  • Grease filters within cooking equipment should be frequently and thoroughly cleaned.
  • Metal grease traps must be emptied and washed out.

Contact us at 204-237-3473 or email at info@bisonfire.com to learn more about our fire prevention services, and to schedule an appointment with a fire safety expert.

Posted by Rob Read at 1:25 PM

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