Fire Protection for Fast Food Restaurants in Houston
As the manager of a fast food restaurant, you are likely aware that you run a fire-prone establishment. Do you have all the recommended fire safety measures in place to protect your customers, employees, assets and the building itself? By understanding the hazards in your Houston fast food restaurant, you can take steps to combat the risks and help ensure adequate fire safety.
Fire Hazards Common to Houston Area Fast Food Restaurants
All restaurants face greater hazards than typical commercial buildings because cooking equipment is present. The frequent use of high-temperature cooking grease and oil in fast food restaurants make this industry even more susceptible to fire. Some hazards include:
- Hot surfaces: If a flammable clothing item or piece of paper falls onto a griddle or stove, it could ignite and start a fire.
- Grease filters and exhaust hoods: In high-volume fast food restaurants, grease filters and exhaust hoods accumulate grease very rapidly. All that built-up grime acts as fuel for a fire if temperatures get hot enough.
- Deep fat fryers: A staple in most fast food kitchens, deep fat fryers are a common source of fire. When overfilled, the cooking oil can ignite and go up in flames.
- Untidy kitchen: Grease buildup inside cookers and on oven tops can lead to a fire. Clutter in general is a safety hazard because it can block exits and trap employees in an emergency.
Train Employees in Fire Prevention Methods
The first step to minimize the risk of fire in your Houston fast food restaurant is to train employees to prevent a blaze in the first place. Teach them the following safety tips:
- Keep the kitchen clean, from cookers and oven tops to grease filters and exhaust hoods.
- Remove clutter from the kitchen to keep the exits clear.
- Wear the appropriate clothing, including rolled-up sleeves, tied back hair and form-fitting aprons to restrict loose clothing.
- Never leave food cooking unattended.
- Make sure all equipment is properly cooled and shut down before leaving for the night.
- Regularly inspect electrical equipment throughout the restaurant, whether located in the kitchen or not. Check for frayed wires and other signs of damage and replace the equipment as needed.
Train Employees What to Do in a Fire
Sometimes even the best prevention methods aren’t enough to prevent a rogue blaze from igniting. If your employees find themselves face-to-face with a fire, make sure they know what to do (no matter what shift they are working):
- While the automatic fire suppression system should activate when it detects smoke from a cooking fire, speed up the extinguishing process by using a fire extinguisher. For this advice to work, you need to offer fire extinguisher training for your employees.
- Never throw water on a grease fire.
- If a fire starts, activate the nearest fire alarm pull station and evacuate the building.
- If your clothing ignites, stop, drop and roll.
To learn more about how to best prepare your employees, our team provides fire prevention and protection training throughout Houston.
Install Fire Protection Equipment to Combat Fire Hazards
For adequate fire safety and code compliance, every Houston fast food restaurant should have the following fire protection equipment:
- Kitchen fire suppression system to stop cooking fires in their path.
- Fire sprinklers to put out fires that start outside the cooking area.
- Class K fire extinguishers in the kitchen and multi-purpose fire extinguishers elsewhere in the restaurant to combat any type of fire that might ignite.
- Fire alarms to alert restaurant occupants of the fire so they can evacuate.
For professional help designing, installing, inspecting, testing, repairing or monitoring any of these fire protection systems, please contact Kauffman Co. online or call us today at (713) 893-1090. We’re here to help prevent Houston fast food restaurant fires with quality fire protection services.
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