Approximately $100 million is lost yearly in commercial kitchen fires, resulting in personal injury, death, and significant property damage. Any restaurant owner or operator knows that their kitchens present unique fire risks that can severely damage their properties.
Grease fires are one of them!
Grease fires could cause injuries to businesses that fail to take preventative measures. To avoid employee injuries or their financial investment going up in flames, business owners should take precautions to prevent grease fires. Prevention is always better than cure.
Grease trap fires are entirely preventable, so here are a few ways to prevent setting your commercial kitchen ablaze, accompanied by unwanted grease trap repair in Bellevue.
How does a grease fire start?
Fire requires three things to burn. Heat, oxygen, and fuel make up these three elements. Fire will continue to grow until one of these is removed. Every commercial kitchen contains grease, which is highly combustible.
Cooking oil ignites when it is too hot, smokes, and catches on fire. Animal fats catch fire at about 375 degrees F, while most vegetable oils catch fire at about 450 degrees F, and they take little time to reach these temperatures. Grease fires spread quickly and can cause serious damage without proper grease trap cleaning in Olympia. A kitchen fire is likely to start from the following reasons:
- A stovetop heats up too quickly, and oil reaches an unsustainable temperature.
- Smoke is caused by throwing frozen food directly into hot grease.
- During cooking, a grease splatter ignites a fire in the oven.
- Unattended stove or oven overnight or even just for a few minutes.
Grease fires can be prevented with careful cooking and regular grease trap pumping in Federal Way, but even the most cautious home cooks run into accidents.
Preventative Measures for Grease Fires
Avoid leaving the oil unattended
Under no circumstances should you leave the kitchen once the stove has been turned on. The pan should always be present when the oil reaches its smoking point since most oils reach their smoking point very quickly. When cooking vegetables, meat, or anything else, it is recommended to use a food thermometer to ensure the grease reaches the correct temperature.
Watch the flame carefully
If you notice smoke or an acrid smell filling the kitchen, you should turn off the burner immediately. A low flame will also help prevent grease fires if you heat the oil slowly. On the contrary, a high flame may worsen the situation, even if grease or fat doesn’t catch fire immediately.
Do not Place frozen food directly in hot grease
Ensure that food is as moisture-free as possible, and take extreme precautions when dipping it into the oil. To avoid splattering hot grease on your skin, use tongs or forks rather than your hands to place food in the sizzling pan.
While cooking items like frozen meat and eggs, keep some distance from the stovetop, so the oil doesn’t pop.
Flammable items should be kept at a distance.
When heating something flammable, such as oil, you should never keep paper towels, oven mitts, or wooden utensils too close to the stove. Moving combustible objects away from your stove during grease trap cleaning in Auburn will prevent grease fires from spreading.
Use deep fryers with extra care
Deep fryers should be handled carefully. First, ensure it’s placed on the stovetop and won’t topple over. Secondly, take care when putting food into the fryer and removing it, so you don’t burn yourself.
What to do in the case of a grease fire?
Chefs or staff can still have accidents in the kitchen, no matter how careful they are. Don’t panic in the event of a grease fire. For safe fire extinguishing, follow these tips.
- If you have a grease fire, do not use water to put it out. As water contains oxygen, it does not extinguish or cool fires but fuels them.
- Ensure that the heat is turned off. To cool the oil, turn off the heat source if it can be accessed safely.
- When a pot or pan is burning, don’t move it. Moving the pan or pot containing the fire outside might be tempting to save the kitchen, but it could instead spread the fire and cause more damage.
- Cover the pot or pan with a lid. Depriving a grease fire of oxygen is the best way to put it out. The flames will be put out quickly if a lid is placed over the pot or pan to suffocate the fire.
- Make use of a fire extinguisher. Avoid using kitchen ingredients such as flour. Despite suffocation, such items could worsen the fire. Extinguish the flames only with a kitchen fire extinguisher.
- Make a 911 call. Don’t hesitate to get help if you think the fire may be out of control. Immediately contact emergency services.
- To prevent grease buildup in the exhaust system, schedule regular grease trap cleaning in Federal Way and inspections.
How can West Coast Grease Traps help you?
Proper disposal of kitchen materials is essential since they can pose a serious fire hazard if they catch fire. Whether you need grease trap maintenance or used cooking oil pickup, West Coast Grease Traps can handle your company’s grease trap cleaning in Bellevue and FOG management needs.
We provide various services like grease trap pumping in Seattle, perform oil recycling, and grease trap waste processing to ensure your kitchen properly disposes of waste to reduce the risk of grease and kitchen fires.
With proper grease trap maintenance, restaurants can avoid grease fires and other safety hazards. In addition to spreading quickly, these fires are difficult to contain. West Coast Grease Traps can help you with grease trap cleaning in Tacoma. Contact us to schedule a service.