Commercial kitchens, large or small, are busy environments and places that generate a lot of heat. From cooktops to ovens, deep fryers, microwaves, and more, there are a lot of appliances in a commercial kitchen, a lot of cooking going on, and if gas is being used, also open flames on those cooktops.
The larger the kitchen, the more appliances there will be and the more kitchen staff that will be in that kitchen performing various duties. It can be a hectic environment and also one that presents a fire danger.
The advice of fire protection companies should be sought by business owners to ensure the commercial kitchen has all of the necessary fire protection equipment. Staff training in fire safety and evacuation plans should also be a part of your fire safety and protection measures.
Let’s look at some typical fire protection equipment that every commercial kitchen should have.
Fire blankets are used to put out small fires, quickly and with a minimum of fuss or mess. This makes them ideal for use in a commercial kitchen environment.
Let’s say a frying pan is on the stove and catches on fire. Rather than spraying the fire with a messy fire extinguisher, workers can simply cover the flames with a fire blanket and extinguish it that way. This means there’s no mess and no risk of blasting hot, flaming oil over other parts of the kitchen or its employees.
There are also fire blankets designed for personal use. In the event that a worker’s clothing catches on fire, they can be wrapped in a fire blanket to put the fire out and minimise physical injury.
There are different types and sizes of fire blankets and fire protection companies will be able to advise you on what you need for your kitchen.
Every commercial kitchen should be equipped with a number of fire extinguishers and extinguishers of the right classification. In Australia, fire extinguishers come in 6 different classes.
One type of fire extinguisher that you will definitely need in a commercial kitchen environment is the Class F fire extinguisher. This extinguisher is specifically designed for putting out fires caused by burning fats and oils. If gas appliances are being used, then your kitchen will also need a fire extinguisher specifically made for flammable gas fires and that’s the Class C fire extinguisher.
The most common type of fire extinguisher you’ll see is Class A, which is used for putting out fires that involve paper, wood, and fabric. Your kitchen will likely need to be equipped with this extinguisher as well.
What’s also important is staff training. Not only do kitchen staff need to be trained in the proper use of a fire extinguisher, but they also need to be fully aware of which type of fire extinguisher is required for each type of fire.
Fire Sprinkler Systems
Commercial kitchens require fire sprinkler systems to douse the flames should a major fire break out. However, due to the complexities of a commercial kitchen, careful planning and implementation of the sprinkler system are required. This is something that will be devised by a professional fire services company.
Two common types of sprinkler systems employed in commercial kitchens in Australia are the Water Mist system and the Wet Chemical sprinkler system. Both are specifically designed to efficiently extinguish a blaze in a commercial kitchen environment without risking exacerbating the fire.
Other Fire Protection Equipment for Commercial Kitchens
Commercial kitchens need to be equipped with fire alarms to alert everyone to the danger if a fire breaks out. This is especially important during times where the kitchen may be unoccupied or operating with a minimum number of staff.
There should also be at least one fire axe in a glass cabinet located within the kitchen. The fire axe is used to break open locked doors and to remove obstacles. Its primary role is to act as a tool to help people escape from the fire.
Having a fire hose and fire hydrant will assist firefighters in tackling a major commercial kitchen blaze.
Commercial kitchens have their own specific challenges and dangers when it comes to fire safety and fire potential. Always seek the assistance of expert fire protection services.