The first step to protecting a restaurant from splash fires is preventing them from happening in the first place. However, in the unfortunate situation that a fire breaks out, you should have the right systems and protocols to put it off before it causes extensive damage.
Below are 3 ways of protecting a restaurant against splash fires.
Deep fryers are among the leading causes of fires in Canada. In most cases, oil splashes out of the fryer into the open flame or burner, causing a fire to engulf.
These fires can be prevented by using a thermostatically controlled deep fryer instead of a regular pot. The same applies when pan-frying – use thermostatically-controlled electric skillets.
When deep-frying, avoid overloading the deep fryer. Most deep fryer fires happen during the Thanksgiving season. Often, people put too large of a turkey in the deep fryer. It displaces the oil causing it to overflow into the flame or burner. Also, use only the right amount of oil to prevent spillage. Ensure the food you are frying is fully thawed as water splashed into the hot oil can cause oil splashes.
Ultimately, ensure that the deep fryer or pan fryer is well positioned on the cooker to prevent it from tipping over and spilling oil on the cooker. Keep a close eye on the frying pan or deep fryer. Heat the oil slowly and avoid overheating it. If you notice smoke, the oil is overheated, so turn off the cooker for a few minutes. Gently place the food on the fryer to avoid grease splatters.
Keep the cooker or burner top and surrounding surfaces clean at all times. If grease splashes, wipe it off immediately. Otherwise, leaving the grease residue is setting the stage for a fire
Throwing water into a splash fire will only aggravate it and may cause the fire to spread further. If the fire is small, turn off the cooker, wear mittens, take a lid and cover the pan or deep fryer. Doing so will cut off the oxygen supply putting out the fire.
Do not pour flour or baking powder on the fire. Neither should you fan the fire. However, you can pour baking soda or salt over the fire. Also, do not put the hot pan fryer or deep fryer on the sink to run water over it.
If the fire is large, call 911 immediately and follow the instruction provided by the operator. You can also use a Class B, C, or K fire extinguisher to smother the fire. Do not use a Class A fire extinguisher on a grease fire as it is water-based.
A splash fire can get out of control fast, engulf the entire kitchen, and then spread to the restaurant. Take the precautionary measures discussed above and ensure that your kitchen staff is properly trained on fire safety and measures to take in case a splash fire breaks out.
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