St Agnes popular Publicans
A lesson to be learnt from St Agnes popular Publicans –
While fire training was given and the required equipment was on hand in the busy St Agnes Hotel nothing stopped a blaze taking hold and bringing the family run business down to its knees.
After a good summer trading, landlord Bill English was on top form with many compliments from the guests at the historic hotel and pub.
After recently taking on new chefs, Sales were very good and the season was drawing to an end.
Devastation was about to unfold on the evening of the 17th of August, when a deep fat fryer overheated causing it to burst into flames.
The fire was so hot it burnt through 4 fire blankets as each one failed to suffocate the flames.
As we have seen with past experiences of industrial kitchens, the fire was channelled through the extractor fan and spread to the exterior and outside storage spaces causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Although the St Agnes hotel followed all the relevant national standards for fire safety, they could not prevent the extent of the damage, leaving thousands of pounds worth of repairs and a considerable amount of lost trade.
So what can be done to prevent fires being so crippling to a business?
Businesses by law are required to hold a number of extinguishers, fire blankets and other fire safety equipment depending on the size and usage of the premises but as in this case, it simply was not enough to cope with the size of the fire.
Many industrial kitchens are being fitted with an Ansul kitchen suppression system. This is either due to free will or encouragement from their buildings insurance provider.
(It is very important as a responsible business owner you check your policy.)
The Ansul suppression R-102 Restaurant System is the leading fire suppression system for catering businesses.
Any cooking area over 0.4sqm requires a fixed suppression system rather than a portable liquid fire extinguisher which only covers up to 0.4sqm, anything above that will then require multiple small extinguishers.
Fire blankets, dry powder, wet chemical or CO2 extinguishers cannot extinguish a fire alone, all of these implements have to be operated by a trained member of staff and no one can predict a reaction from someone when faced with a life or death situation.
The Ansul R-102 is heat sensor activated, cutting out the risk of a fire going undetected even when no one is in attendance leaving your staff and business continuously protected.
Many well-known businesses such as Pizza Hut, Burger King, McDonalds and Little Chef have already installed the system as well as hospitals, universities, hotels, restaurants and other commercial kitchens.
Fortunately no one was hurt at the St Agnes hotel which holds 11 rooms above the pub and kitchen. However the story could have ended very differently.
The fixed suppression system not only saves lives but it also saves you cost on your insurance premiums and could one day save your business.
Please watch the video at the bottom of the page. It shows the difference between using a fire blanket and portable extinguishers versus having a fixed suppression system fitted. The differences are clear.