Routine maintenance of your university or college kitchen exhaust system by itself is not enough to prevent a grease fire. The purpose of this article is to help university and college facility managers insure they are taking the correct actions to reduce the risk of kitchen grease fires. We’ll cover three things you can do to help reduce your risk of a fire in your cafeteria or university restaurant.
Students and staff might love the dining experience, but your cafeteria kitchen can be a dangerous place. And if the cooks and other employees are not so hot on following safety procedures, the matter is even more complicated. If you sustain a fire you’ll lose equipment, food, incur downtime, and likely see an insurance increase. In the worst scenarios, people can lose their lives, and you can damage your schools good reputation. Even a small fire event can pose a significant disruption.
Top 3 Things Universities Can Do To Prevent Hood Fires
#1 Proper Equipment
Damage from fires can be minimized and lives saved by making sure that you have the proper equipment in place. Here are a few types of equipment that will go a long way in ensuring you are prepared:
- Fire extinguisher – to put out small non-grease fires.
- Type K extinguisher – required to put out cooking oil fires.
- Overhead Fire Suppression system – Uncle Sam requires that a fire suppression system is maintained to extinguish any hood fires.
Make sure you’re adhering to the National Fire Protection Association requirements for system inspections. Failure to do so could mean your extinguishers might not work in case of a fire.
#2 Vent Hood & Grease Trap Cleaning
Do you know one thing in your kitchen that poses the largest risk? If you said grease you’re right. And the place where it tends to collect the most is the vent hood. High cooking temperatures, and close proximity to fire add up to an increased likelihood of grease igniting. To protect your workers, students, and university reputation, you should professionally clean the entire system every quarter. Monthly cleanings might be more appropriate if you’re preparing a high volume of greasy foods.
It’s easy for food and other debris in the grease traps to ignite if exposed to hot oil. Be sure to keep your grease traps cleaned also on a regular schedule.
#3 Keep The Cafeteria Kitchen Clean
Just about anything can kindle when exposed to fire. Keep the following things in mind to protect your kitchen staff.
- Clutter, hair, and loose clothing are easy kindling for small fires.
- Make sure cafeteria floors and work areas are free of debris.
- Make sure any food or other packaging is properly disposed of and not left lying around.
- Properly dispose of trash and clean up excess grease residue on walls and equipment surfaces.
- Protect workers who have long hair by requiring them to secure it with hairnets to help keep it away from flames.
- Make sure all uniforms and clothing fit properly so lose items can’t get caught in a flame.
Preventing fires in your university or college kitchen requires you to be dedicated to daily cleaning, and a regular maintenance program. IMC can work with you to setup regularly scheduled kitchen hood cleaning services.