How To Prepare For Common Restaurant Kitchen Fire Hazards

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on How To Prepare For Common Restaurant Kitchen Fire Hazards

How To Prepare For Common Restaurant Kitchen Fire Hazards Whether you operate a quick-service chophouse or a five-star bistro, your restaurant kitchen is a hotbed of flammable materials and high-powered cooking methods. If you want to avoid disaster, it’s important to remember that your fire safety standards are just as unique and important as the food you serve and the number of customers you attract. Despite modern safety innovations and strict health and safety standards, disaster does strike thousands of kitchens every year. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, American fire departments respond to about 5,600 restaurant fires each year. These fires cost an estimated $116 million in property damage alone annually, in addition to 100 injuries and even a few deaths. Is your kitchen prepared to minimize the risks associated with your cooking methods, materials, and equipment? Fire hazards are common in most restaurant kitchens, but you can decrease your odds of disaster if you understand the specific safety precautions that each hazard requires. Faulty Electrical Wiring If you work in the restaurant industry, you’re already familiar with the importance of keeping your kitchen up-to-code. Local safety requirements and industry-wide safety standards don’t exist simply to prevent your customers from getting sick; they also apply to your power sources. Old, faulty, and exposed electrical wiring is a disaster waiting to happen, as are old kitchen appliances and breaker boxes. To avoid an electrical fire, pay close attention to the maintenance requirements outlined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Your specific equipment, kitchen size, and other details will affect the maintenance standards you must follow. And even if you have a well-maintained electrical system, you must also make sure flammable materials don’t come into contact with wall outlets. Clogged Hood Filters Restaurant exhaust hoods are designed to eliminate excess grease, gases, smoke, and odors from your kitchen. They play a crucial role in keeping your restaurant safe and up-to-code, but they depend on a working and well-maintained filtration system to do the job properly. When grease accumulates on hood filters, it makes them less efficient, but it also creates a new fire hazard right above your cooking surfaces. Know how to clean your exhaust hood properly, and make sure you and your staff prioritize this process. Follow both manufacturer recommendations and OHSA safety regulations. In case of quick buildup or human error, make sure you also have a Class K Kitchen Fire Extinguisher exactly 20 feet from all stovetops. Oily Rags and Towels Your kitchen staff may use rags to wipe grease, oil, and other flammable substances off your kitchen surfaces throughout the day. It’s important to prevent these liquids from building up and creating fire hazards, but the rags themselves become fire hazards too. Don’t let highly combustible materials accumulate in your kitchen. According to the National Fire Protection agency, grease accumulation actually causes 21 percent of all restaurant fires. Spontaneous combustion is a very real risk when large amounts of grease are concentrated in one place, so make sure no one leaves oily rags or towels lying around. After a rag is used to wipe down grease, it should be contained in a non-flammable trash or laundry bin, preferably outside the kitchen area. Burning Solid Fuels Any fuels that produce excess heat or smoke will also require extra safety precautions. If you cook with solid fuel such as charcoal, briquettes, hardwood, or mesquite, you must have a working and well-maintained filtration system that prevents smoke and carbon monoxide buildup. You must also make sure it properly eliminates the flammable debris left behind. If flying debris from...

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What is the Fire Triangle?

Posted by on May 29, 2016 in Blog, Featured | Comments Off on What is the Fire Triangle?

What is the Fire Triangle?

What is the Fire Triangle? The fire triangle is used to show the three elements that when present together can cause a fire to start. These three ingredients are fuel, heat and oxygen, under all circumstances they should be kept apart to avoid a fire starting. Understanding the basic principles of the fire triangle is essential in helping to protect your business and prevent fires from breaking out. How does the fire triangle work? When fuel or flammable materials are heated, the energy stored inside starts to react with oxygen in the air, giving off heat. This creates a vicious cycle, which causes the fire to spread. To stop the spread of a fire you have to remove one of these elements to break the triangle. Tips for fighting and preventing fires based on the fire triangle: Oxygen This makes up about 20% of the air we breathe, so there is a ready supply to fuel a potential fire if flammable materials come into contact with enough heat to start a fire. Once a fire has started, depriving it of oxygen will weaken extinguish it. This is a principle used by some fire extinguishers. Foam and dry powder extinguishers can be used to smother flames and deprive the fire of oxygen, whereas the CO2 in carbon dioxide fire extinguishers will replace the oxygen to deprive the fuel source of it. Without a sufficient supply of Oxygen a fire will stop burning, so it’s always handy to keep appropriate fire extinguishers near areas with a high risk of fire. Always use fire extinguishers with care and check that you are using the correct type of fire extinguisher for the type of fire you are dealing with. Heat All flammable materials have a flash point, this is the lowest temperature at which they will ignite. If you are storing flammables on site then you will need to be aware of their flashpoints and make sure that all materials stored away from sources of heat and under their flash point temperature. If a fire does break out then having a water fire extinguisher on standby is a good idea. Water has the effect of cooling the fire, thus removing heat from the equation. However remember not to use water on electrical appliances or cooking oil fires. Fuel A fire will continue as long as there is fuel to burn. Fuel comes under three categories, solid, liquid and gas. Each type should be treated specially to ensure that their presence does not result in a fire. The most common types of fuel are solid materials. Just look around you, everyday materials that surround you such as paper, card, clothing, fabrics and furniture could all be potential fuel for a fire. To reduce the chance of a fire starting, keep these materials away from electric heaters, radiators and direct sunlight. Liquid fuel and flammable gases require more special attention. Ideally you should keep liquids and gases in a sealed container away from other flammables and possible sources of ignition or heat. You should regularly check for signs of damage to the containers and keep as small an amount as necessary on site. Of course following these tips can only help reduce the chance of a fire breaking out, so it is strongly advised to only keep flammable liquids and gases are absolutely needed and if no non-flammable alternative is available. Once a fire has started it is very difficult to remove the fuel, but wet chemical fire extinguishers which are specially designed for cooking oil and grease fires can achieve this. The chemicals released...

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Fire Extinguishers: Refill or Replace?

Posted by on May 15, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Fire Extinguishers: Refill or Replace?

Fire Extinguishers: Refill or Replace?

Fire Extinguishers: Refill or Replace? If you’ve recently used your fire extinguishers to put out a fire, you have two choices: to refill (recharge) or replace your equipment. So which option is the right one? At ABCO Fire & Safety Inc, we can provide expert guidance to help keep your building safe and prepared for any circumstances in Pinellas Tampa St.Petersburg. or Clearwater FL. Schedule a fire extinguisher consultation today (727)692-3970 or (813)900-3814 Should You Refill or Replace Your Fire Extinguisher? The fire extinguishers you get from ABCO Fire & Safety Inc. are made to last a long time—up to 12 years or more—especially when you have us come out and inspect them once a year. What this means is that as long as the fire extinguisher shell stays in good shape (i.e. not cracked or dented), you will be able to recharge your fire extinguisher as many times as you need to. That said, fire extinguisher replacement isn’t a bad idea either—especially for smaller fire extinguishers. If you’re not sure whether you should have fire extinguisher repair or fire extinguisher replacement, just call ABCO Fire & Safety Inc.! We can inspect the used fire extinguishers and recommend fire extinguisher repair or fire extinguisher replacement. Remember that you should call us any time you use any amount of extinguishant—even just a tiny bit. Releasing just a little bit of extinguishant could result in your fire extinguisher being unable to protect you the next time around. Note: the above only applies to fire extinguishers that have been used. If you haven’t touched your fire extinguisher in a while and it’s slowly losing its charge, call ABCO Fire & Safety Inc to inspect it—you may have a leak or a small crack in the shell which would automatically require full on fire extinguisher replacement. When Does an Extinguisher Need to Be Replaced? Obviously you want to have your fire extinguisher recharged or replaced every time you use it. But when else should you replace your fire extinguishers? A fire extinguisher should be replaced any time its charge has been compromised. This means fire extinguisher replacement if: The hose or nozzle is cracked, ripped or clogged The pin on the handle is broken or missing The handle is wobbly The inspection tag is missing The shell is cracked or damaged If you have fire extinguishers in your building that have been used recently and have lost some of their charge, call ABCO Fire & Safety Inc! We can come check out your fire extinguisher and help you decide whether you need fire extinguisher recharge or fire extinguisher replacement. And if your fire extinguisher is damaged or malfunctioning in any way, we can replace it straight away! Contact us online or by phone at (727)692-3970 or (813)900-3814 to schedule your fire extinguisher...

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Why Do Some Fires Require Specific Extinguishers?

Posted by on Feb 24, 2016 in Blog, Featured | Comments Off on Why Do Some Fires Require Specific Extinguishers?

Why Do Some Fires Require Specific Extinguishers?

Why Do Some Fires Require Specific Extinguishers?   Despite the vast improvements in fire safety codes and procedures in recent decades, fires still manage to devastate homes and businesses on a regular basis. Fires cause millions of dollars of property damage and cost thousands of lives every year. A good fire extinguisher is crucial to have on hand in your home or in your place of work, as it will give you a much higher chance of saving yourself, your loved ones, and your property from getting harmed by fire. However, there are different kinds of fire extinguishers, and knowing which kind is right for the job is extremely important. Different Fires Require Different Methods Though fire may all look the same, the fact of the matter is that not every material will burn in the same way. Generally speaking, fires are classified into several different types, based on the type of material that is burning: class A fires, which include combustible materials like wood, paper, trash, plastics, and fabric; class B fires, which include flammable liquids like gasoline or propane; class C fires, which include electrical equipment; class D fires, which include metals like potassium, sodium, aluminum, and magnesium; and class K fires, which include cooking oils. Each type of material will burn differently, and will require a different type of extinguishing agent to deal with most efficiently. The Wrong Extinguisher Can Make Things Worse If you have an electrical fire, it’s extremely important that you not use a water or foam based extinguisher, as this can lead to an even more dangerous shock hazard. Likewise, carbon dioxide extinguishers won’t work on wood or fabric, and using one would only waste time and allow the fire to spread further. At ABCO Fire & Safety Inc, we take fire safety seriously. That’s why we offer a full range of fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems ready to protect your home or business from the effects of a dangerous fire. Contact us today for a free site...

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Different types of fires

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on Different types of fires

Different types of fires require different types of extinguishers. For example, a grease fire and an electrical fire require the use of different extinguishing agents to be effective and safely put the fire out. Basically, there are five different types of extinguishing agents. Most fire extinguishers display symbols to show the kind of fire on which they are to be used. ABCO Fire & Safety Inc. is pleased to offer the following services: Annual Automatic Service Plan – ABCO Fire & Safety Inc. will automatically schedule your annual fire extinguisher inspection well in advance of the expiration date Fire extinguisher surveys at no additional charge Mobile recharge capability Guaranteed Next Day Service for empty fire extinguishers Our shop staff can repair large capacity industrial wheeled fire extinguishers Providing Fire Extinguisher Service in Tampa, Pinellas, Clearwater, Pasco, Lakeland, Bradenton, Sarasota....

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