A Few Facts
Here are a few facts related to fires starting in kitchens:
- There were more than 7100 restaurant fires in 2002 in the USA, causing $116 million in property damages
- Under a third of restaurant structure fires started in an area that had a fire alarm or fire suppression system in place, and less than half of all fires, whether structural or not, occurred where there was an automatic extinguishing system.
- This study also studied the causes of restaurant fires. As you can imagine, cooking was the single leading cause of fires, coming in at 64.2%. Heating systems caused 9.9% of the fires and electrical systems, appliances and air conditioning systems accounted for another 8.6% of the fires. As often as people talk about arson in the restaurant insurance business, it is interesting to note that the arson percentage was only 5.2% for restaurants compared to 18.7% of all other non-residential fires. So in 2002 at least, it wasn’t restaurant owners who were out there torching their businesses.
- Dirty filters played a huge part in the link from fryer fires to extraction systems
- The take away for restaurant owners in this data is to keep your fire suppression systems cleaned and functioning and to be sure to regularly clean vents and other places where grease builds up. Keep a close watch on kitchen activities, especially during the prep time as that is the most likely time for a kitchen fire to start. Reducing your fire risks in your restaurant will help to keep your restaurant insurance costs lower over time and may also protect your restaurant from a disaster.