Restaurant fires account for nearly 6% of all non-residential building fires reported to the fire department each year!
Fires in eating and drinking establishments result in an average of 1 fatality per 1000 fires, 11 civilian injuries per 1000 fires, and $23,000 in direct property damage, including expensive kitchen equipment and the building’s structure.
Keep in mind that these numbers don’t account for the revenue losses that result from business downtime. In some cases, the fire may even result in the restaurant closing permanently.
There are a lot of fire threats in restaurant kitchens, such as heating equipment, open flames, cleaning chemicals, cooking oil, and flammable substances. Therefore, it’s crucial that you have a preventive maintenance plan in place and have appropriate fire safety equipment available at all times.
Let’s go over some tips on how you can avoid a restaurant fire as much as possible:
1. Install an Automated Fire Control System
3 out of 5 fires involve cooking equipment, which is why you need an automated fire control system that kicks in when the fire gets large enough to activate the sensors in the ceiling.
The fire control system dispenses chemicals to suppress the flames. It also cuts off power to the kitchen, gas line, and fuel supply to prevent the fire from growing by reducing the risk of re-ignition.
Once installed, your fire-suppression system should be professionally inspected semi-annually to ensure everything is up to par. Needless to say, these are small costs to pay compared to the losses incurred by a potentially full-blown fire.
2. Invest in Backup Extinguishers
In addition to a fire-suppression system, it’s crucial to have access to portable fire extinguishers in case of emergencies.
Use Class K extinguishers for kitchen fires that involve grease, oils, and fats that burn at high temperatures. These extinguishers are only intended to be used after the activation of a built-in automated fire control system.
3. Use Fire-Resistant Boards and Wall Panels
While no material is 100% fireproof, there are fire-resistant construction materials that resist fire for longer.
The aim is to ensure that the construction of the restaurant is such that the fire takes longer to take effect, adding precious minutes to escaping a burning building.
By replacing traditional wallboards with fire-resistant boards like Magnesium Oxide boards, you can enhance the wall’s fire resistance.
MagMatrix MgO boards and Mag fire-rated board sare designed to do just that. They have an A1 fire insulation rating, which classifies them as non-combustible. These boards are characterized by flame retardance, fireproofing, damp proofing, environmental protection, and heat preservation.
In fact, MagMatrix’s MgO boards have passed tests by the China National Center for Quality Supervision and the Testing of Fire Building Materials, achieving national standards for their flame rating and fire performance.
Graded on structural adequacy, integrity, and insulation, MagMatrix MgO sub-floor boards maintain structural adequacy for 120 minutes, integrity for 120 minutes, and insulation for 120 minutes.
Therefore, investing in fire-resistant and non-combustible boards is an effective way of enhancing your restaurant’s fire resistance.
Additionally, to protect the exterior wall sheathing, you can add afire-resistant wallboard with a high fire rating under the sliding, such as the MagMatrix Mag FirePro External Cladding & Render Carrier Board for superior dimensional stability.