Kitchen Nightmare: How to Prevent Fires in Your Restaurant’s Kitchen

fire alarm

Fire is one of the most dreaded disasters for businesses. In 2019, a fire department in the United States responded to a fire incident every 24 seconds. Fires do not only damage properties; fires take lives. You don’t want a fire to ruin your business, do you?

Common Causes of Fire in Restaurants’ Kitchens

Fire is always a risk for every establishment. And kitchen fires are one of the most common reasons for fire incidents. From 2010 to 2014, authorities have reported at least 7,410 fire incidents in eating and drinking establishments in the United States every year. On average, these fires caused at least:

  • 3 civilian deaths
  • 110 civilian injuries
  • $165 million worth of damage to properties

How do we prevent these fires from happening? As people always say, prevention is critical, so you must know the leading causes of fires to stop them from happening in the first place.

Cooking Equipment

Leaving the stove unattended while cooking food is the usual suspect for kitchen fires. Leaving flammable materials near a heat source is also a common mistake. Forgetting to turn off the cooking equipment is also a common cause.

Electrical Distribution

This is a common cause of fire even in residential areas. Electrical wiring, faulty outlets, worn or frayed cords are all potential fire risks. Leaving cords running under rugs plus worn cables is a recipe for disaster. It is always easy for these faulty electrical connections to start a fire in the kitchen because of the flammable materials.

Lighting Equipment

The high wattage of bulbs installed in lamps is a common cause of fire incidents. Fires start when the recommended bulb wattage is too high. Another potential fire incident waiting to happen is when you leave a piece of cloth or any material over a lamp. The material tends to heat up because of the heat generated from the light and ignites.

Heating Equipment

Heating equipment like portable heaters is potential fire starters if left turned on. It is common in the kitchen to leave heaters on, especially during winter. Buy heaters that have automatic shutoffs to avoid overheating. Coil space heaters are also not recommended in the kitchen because the coils are highly combustible. Anything combustible like curtains, aprons, pot holders should be at least three feet away from heaters in the kitchen.

Smoking Materials

Believe it or not, some people smoke in the kitchen. Leaving a lit cigarette unattended is another common cause of fires. Because kitchens work with open flames every day, matches and igniters are dangerous to be around.

Intentional Cause

There are only a few such cases among restaurants, but the kitchen is always an easy target for arson. Ensure you update your locks and employ other security measures so no one apart from your staff has access to the kitchen.

stairs fire

How to Prevent Fires in Your Kitchen

If you have a restaurant business, you know that fire is always a potential risk. You deal with gas, open flames, cooking oil, grease, and other flammable materials every single day. As a business owner, what should you do to avoid fire incidents in your business?

Invest in Fire Suppression Systems

Every restaurant kitchen should have an efficient and sophisticated suppression system. This can put out a fire in an instant. These systems are installed in the hoods of cooking ranges, fryers, and grills.

Get Proper Fire Extinguishers

While it is not the best to use when a fire starts from a cooking surface, fire extinguishers help extinguish fires from other sources like faulty wirings. You can choose between surface-mounted and recessed-mounted fire extinguishers available at retail websites like Take note that fire extinguishers only work well if you know how to use them. Consequently, you need to train your cooking staff to use it in case of an emergency.

Conduct Inspection in the Kitchen Regularly

Have your connections and wiring regularly checked by electricians. If you have the budget for it, replace old and frayed cords around your kitchen. Make sure you tell your staff to inspect and clean your cooking range, grillers, broilers, fryers, and other cooking equipment. Additionally, they can also check your hoods and suppression systems to see if they are working correctly. Lastly, you can organize your kitchen and take away unnecessary combustible materials.

Create an Emergency Plan

Educate your staff on how to operate the suppression systems and fire extinguishers. Delegate key persons in the event of a fire. As the owner, you’ll also need to develop an exit plan. Train your staff with the dos and don’ts inside the kitchen.


More than the business, what’s important is the safety of your employees. Running a restaurant involves multiple risks people do not know. And because of these risks is why fire prevention is always the key. If you abide by the fire code and conduct regular maintenance and inspection in your kitchen, you can prevent fire incidents.

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