Protecting your Kitchen
Kitchens are exciting places to work. They are full of energy and creativity. But, as every chef knows, there are hazards.
Between 2010 and 2011 there were 2,000 fires in professional kitchens in Great Britain. 520 of these were cooking oil fires. When a kitchen fire is not contained and put out at the source, the damage can be costly.
Do you own one of the thousands of restaurants in the Devon area? Is your kitchen protected? Is your kitchen suppression system well maintained and up to date? Argos Fire Protection are based in the South West, and we cover all aspects of kitchen fire safety from consultation to installation to maintenance.
Let’s look at some of the things you can do to improve your kitchen’s fire safety.
Dealing with a Fire
The biggest cause of kitchen fires are oil or fat fires, known as Class F fires. In these fires the oil boils, starts to smoke, and then sets on fire. Not only is there a fire, but the oil is incredibly hot and needs to be cooled quickly to prevent a fire starting up again. Cooking oil fires need to be suppressed in different ways according to kitchen size.
For smaller kitchens, using deep fat frying equipment with surface area of less than 0.4 square meters, portable fire extinguishers are the ideal option. Wet Chemical extinguishers are the best choice, as they extinguish flames and also produce a soap-like film that prevents a reflash, and helps the oil to cool down.
Kitchens that have more deep fat frying equipment face a bigger challenge, and a fixed fire extinguishing system is required. The leading brand in Kitchen Suppression is Ansul.
Ansul systems use unique suppression agents. These are designed to put fires out at high speed and cool the area down quickly, producing a thick vapour blanket to prevent fire starting again.
They come with two options: appliance specific or overlapping systems. Appliance specific systems use nozzles that are targeted to appliances that are hazardous. These are good for kitchens where the layout is unlikely to change. Overlapping systems will blanket a whole area in case of a fire, allowing appliances to be moved, but everything to still be protected.
Argos Fire Protection are the only agent for Ansul suppression systems in the South West. If you’re looking for further advice, then we’d be happy to discuss your options with you.
Alongside protecting against oil fires, it’s important to have electrical equipment regularly tested and maintained, as faulty electrical equipment is a regular culprit for fires in the UK.
To Sum Up
- Oil Fires are the main cause of commercial kitchen fires.
- Each kitchen has site specific requirements.
- Wet chemical extinguishers are good for smaller kitchens.
- Fixed systems properly protect larger cooking spaces.