Common Causes of Fire Accidents Inside a Restaurant Kitchen

Fire hazards damage property and cause chronic burns or even deaths.

Fire departments all over America, according to the National Fire Protection Association, handled about 8,240 structural fires at restaurants and other joints for drinking and eating between 2012 and 2016.

Every year, each reported fire resulted in two deaths of civilians, about 115 injuries and damages in property worth $246 million.

Therefore, it’s important for restaurant owners and employees to understand the most common causes of fires in commercial kitchens. With a proper understanding of fire hazards and related safety measures, you can prevent and avoid accidental fires.

Here’re the most common fire hazards in restaurant kitchens:

3 Major Causes of Fires in Restaurant Kitchens

  1. Cooking and oils

Cooking, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), is the most common cause of restaurant kitchen fires. The restaurant fire hazard accounts for about 64% of all restaurant fires reported in the U.S.

Ovens and deep fryers can be dangerous.

Ovens, if not kept far from other kitchen equipment or cleaned properly, can be hazardous. They buildup flammable oils, hence the transfer of heat can easily cause explosions and fires.

On the other hand, deep fryers often contain cooking oil to the brim, hence it can cause a serious emergency if something goes amiss.

  1. Malfunctioning of electrical equipment

Electrical equipment, based on USFA data, results in 7% of all fires in restaurants. Kitchen electrical hazards include:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Worn electrical cords
  • Ungrounded power outlets
  • Damaged extension cords
  • Damaged receptacles
  • Faulty electrical appliances

Electrical hazards also cause electric shock or electrocution apart from fires.

When unsafe switches, plugs, wiring, or sockets release heat onto combustible or flammable materials, electrical fires start. Modern appliance voltages can overwhelm outdated wiring, causing sparks, break downs, and possibly fires.

Overloading restaurant kitchens with appliances their capacities can’t handle can cause short-circuiting of the electronics, resulting in overheating, fires or explosion.

  1. Faulty heating systems

Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems can also cause accidental fires in restaurant kitchens. Malfunctioned HVAC systems are responsible for about 7% of fires reported in the hotel industry.

When the systems fail, components such as filters ignite, causing fires. Leaking fuel lines, poor electrical connections, crowded furnaces, and faulty gas lines in HVAC systems also cause fires.

All employees should be trained in fire safety and prevention to learn how to use fire safety equipment.