Installing an efficient fire control mechanism in a restaurant kitchen is one of the first priorities before receiving the necessary permits from your local authority. To get your business going, you will need to set up different types of fire extinguishers in appropriate locations. By controlling fire hazards, you protect both the workers in the restaurant and the building that houses the kitchen. Here are four safety tips when installing fire extinguishers in the restaurant kitchen.
Choose the Right Type of Fire Extinguisher -- Most residential Class ABC fire extinguishers are often inadequate to deal with commercial kitchen fires. When designing a restaurant kitchen, consider commercial Class K fire extinguishers that can put out fires from wet chemical agents such as greases and cooking oils. Sometimes, electrical fires can erupt in the kitchen; therefore, you will need carbon dioxide extinguishers that fall in class C. However, take precaution when using this latter type in confined spaces because they suck the oxygen out of the room.
Never Obstruct Fire Extinguishers -- A fire extinguisher is only useful when you can access it easily in case a fire erupts in the kitchen. Do not put the equipment in the storage area hidden behind a sack of potatoes. Doing this not only violates the occupational health and safety regulations but also puts the lives of occupants in grave danger. It is recommended that you place red tapes or any form of signage around the location of the extinguisher so that people can notice it in the moment of chaos when a fire breaks out.
Train Workers on Safe Use of Fire Extinguishers -- Train all your employees on safe handling of different types of extinguishers. Some organizations offer drills to simulate real fire scenarios so that employees can control their nerves during this chaotic environment. Have all your staff in the kitchen go through these simulations to better prepare themselves to deal with different fire scenarios. The training should be routinely done to remind the staff of the proper protocols.
Regular Inspection and Maintenance -- In most jurisdictions, the occupational safety and health regulation require that fire extinguishers be inspected once a year. However, for a busy restaurant kitchen, you should go beyond this requirement and have internal inspections done at least twice a year. It does not hurt to know that your equipment is in good working condition, instead of waiting to find out when a massive fire engulfs your kitchen. Have an expert recharge or replace extinguishers that have been used.