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Top Causes of Restaurant Fires and How to Prevent Them

restaurant fire prevention tips

Commercial kitchens can be dangerous places. Perhaps the greatest danger is the ever-present possibility of a fire. The National Fire Protection Association reports that 8,240 fires a year take place in restaurants, killing an average of 2 people and injuring 115. Four out of 10 restaurant fires start in the kitchen and of those, 20% start in the stove. Here, we’ll discuss some of the primary causes of restaurant fires and how they can be prevented.

Oil & Grease Traps

Animal fat and oil are the two main components used in restaurant cooking. These burn at very high temperatures roughly equivalent to the temperatures found in most conventional fuel oils, approximately 900 to 1100 degrees Celsius. The NFPA says 43% of restaurant fires begin with igniting oil or fat.

How to Prevent it: Hood Cleaning & Oil Trap Cleaning

First, the entire range surface and elements should be cleaned at least once a week. But commercial hood cleaning is just the start. Your underground metal oil traps can be easy to forget about. When those catch fire, it can be absolutely devastating. Federal regulations require high volume eateries to clean these no less than four times each year.

Gas Leaks

Gas leaks cause the worst kind of fire that a restaurant could suffer. When your equipment loses its ability to adequately support gas flow, unlit gas remains in the air posing a serious danger. You can usually smell these leaks before the gas ignites. When detected, gas leaks must be dealt with without hesitation.

How to Prevent it: Insurance, Inspection & Repair

Because this type of fire is so prevalent, insurance is a common way of mitigating the danger. Aside to that, having your gas lines professionally inspected and maintained is your best bet.

Electrical: Inspection & Maintenance

Poorly constructed or damaged electrical components and wiring lead to electrical fires. Plugging in too many devices into a single outlet is another major cause. Ensuring your kitchen has an electrical system that can handle the demand for electricity is essential. Have your wiring checked regularly to safeguard against the risk of an electrical fire.

Exhaust Vents & Ductwork

Fires that start in the vents and ductwork are some of the most common and dangerous restaurant fires. Vents, fans, and hoods are especially prone to grease buildup. This buildup itself is very flammable. It also emits fumes which can catch fire.

How to Prevent it: Restaurant Hood Cleaning

Thorough and regular restaurant hood cleaning is the best way to prevent this type of fire. Regular commercial hood cleaning can stop this type of fire before it starts, and help reduce the damage done by fires from other ignition sources.

If you’re due for a commercial vent hood cleaning in the Houston area, contact the professionals at Rujo Hood Cleaning today. We provide a 10-step cleaning process to ensure the absolute best clean.


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