Is Your Restaurant up to Date With Fire Code?
As a restaurant owner, there are few things more devastating than a fire. To ensure the safety of restaurant owners, employees and guests alike, the National Fire Protection Association has set strict standards for electrical and building safety, which restaurants must comply with. If your restaurant is not in compliance with fire code, you’re not only at risk of facing steep fines, but you’re potentially putting you, your team, and your customers at risk too. Read on to learn valuable insight regarding fire codes, how to make sure your restaurant is up to codes, and why you need preventative maintenance here.
The Main Causes of Restaurant Fires
Did you know that cooking causes almost 60 percent of restaurant fires? These instances occur for a slew of reasons — from failure to keep up with exhaust system inspection to faulty hood filters and dirty deep fryers. To prevent these issues from occurring, the NFPA has set these fire codes:
11.4, 11.6.1, 11.6.2: These fire codes state that it is mandatory that a certified exhaust system cleaner inspects the area regularly for grease buildup, damages and the like. If the area contains excess oil and grease, it must be promptly cleaned.
6.1, 6.2, 14.5: Grease filters must be UL-listed and fabricated from steel or another suitable material. Mesh filters shouldn’t be used on their own and should be used in conjunction with another UL-listed filter. Solid fuel cooking operations must use spark arrestor filters to minimize the entrance of sparks and embers into the grease filter.
18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, 9.2.1: Upblast fans must be hinged properly and wiring systems should be flexible and weatherproof. Ductwork should never have wiring installed from within.
126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52: The grease collection device and draining system should be noncombustible, closed, rainproof and structurally sound. The upblast fan should include a way to drain grease into a visible receptacle no more than one gallon in volume.
Baltimore County Fire Prevention Code
The county codes set in place are tailored to the specific needs of Baltimore County and its residents. The codes set in place regulate the storage, handling and use of various substances and materials. In doing so, it sets standards for fire protection systems and regulates conditions related to the occupancy of various buildings.
The Baltimore County Fire Prevention Code promotes the public health and welfare by regulating the hazards of fire and explosion.
From the Baltimore County Government’s official website:
“The county fire code closely parallels the Maryland Fire Prevention Code but is tailored to the specific needs of Baltimore County and its residents. The code regulates the storage, handling and use of various substances, materials, and devices, including fireworks, barbecue grills, commercial cooking equipment, and machinery. It sets standards for fire protection systems including automatic sprinkler systems, residential rural water supplies for fire suppression and smoke detectors in day care homes. It also regulates conditions related to the occupancy various types of buildings, including proper egress and requirements for fire drills. It includes specific physical and operational requirements for new and existing occupancies based on the type of use for each occupancy.
The main documents that are included as part of the County Fire Code are the NFPA 1 Fire Code 2012 ed. and NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, 2012 ed.
The Fire Code contains amendments, deletions, and additions to the NFPA documents. In order to have a complete understanding of the code, please review it in conjunction with the NFPA documents.”
How to Practice Fire Safety in Restaurants
Understanding and knowing fire codes can be overwhelming, but as a business or restaurant owner, there are lots of steps you can take to ensure the safety of your building, team and customers.
-Install fire alarms
-Install an automatic extinguishing system
-Clean kitchen equipment regularly
-Clean hood filters regularly
-Install a large enough duct access panel
-Schedule routine maintenance for your commercial kitchen
Commercial Kitchen Services
When it comes to preventing fires, keeping up to date with fire codes is an absolute must. Beyond taking the small steps above to ensure your kitchen is safe, regular preventive maintenance is crucial. With Quick Servant, you can tailor a preventive maintenance program to meet your kitchen’s specific needs. Contact us today to get started.