Fire and Life Safety in Eating Establishments

Integrated Fire SystemsFire & Life Safety Updates

Is Your Establishment Safe?

Eating establishments are a place for people to enjoy a meal and each other’s company. But, it is not common to think about an establishments safety protocols when you are out to dinner.

NFPA reports an “average of 7,410 structure fires per year in eating and drinking establishments” between 2010-2014. Out of these 7,410 fires; 5,810 were in restaurants or cafeterias, 830 were in unclassified eating or drinking places, and 770 were in bars or nightclubs. Annually these fires cause $165 million dollars in property damage, 110 civilian injuries, and 3 civilian deaths.

What Causes Fires in Eating Establishments

The top 5 causes for structure fires in eating and drinking establishments are cooking equipment, electrical distribution and lighting equipment, heating equipment, smoking materials, and intentional.

Cooking equipment is the leading cause of these structure fires. They are responsible for 61% of eating and drinking establishment fires every year. According to NFPA, “cooking materials are the item first ignited in 43% of the fires in eating and drinking establishments”. 21% of these fires involve deep fryers and 14% involve ranges and cooktops.

Another major cause of fires in eating establishments is failure to clean. This was a factor in 22% of the fires that occurred in these establishments.

Property Damage in Fires at Eating Establishments

Fires started by cooking equipment cause the most property damage. Followed by electrical distribution and lighting equipment, intentional, heating equipment, and smoking materials. While only 4% of fires start intentionally, they cause 10% of the property damage.

NFPA says that, “two-thirds (68%) of fires in eating and drinking establishments were small and did not spread beyond the object of origin”. This means that there is a high probability that if a fire starts in your establishment, it will not burn not down the entire building. But, you will still have to worry about the damage in the area where the fire starts. This includes water damage from the fire sprinkler system extinguishing the fire, and smoke damage throughout your building.

What to Do

The good news is that NFPA has reported that there has been a downtrend in fires that occur in these establishments. But, this does not mean that you should take these fires lightly. If you own an eating or drinking establishment it is extremely important that you make sure that your establishment has working smoke detectors, carbon monoxide, fire sprinklers, fire extinguishers, and a kitchen hood system. In addition, you should properly clean all of your cooking equipment to ensure that grease fires will not start.

If you have any questions about if your eating or drinking establishment is properly equipped with fire and life safety devices give us a call at 888-987-5322.

-The IFS Team