Reports of fires involving wood-fired pizza and meat smoking ovens are increasing due to the growing number of restaurants that have added this cooking process. According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) data, fire departments responded to an estimated average of 7,640 structure fires per year between 2006 and 2010. Three out of five of those fires involved cooking equipment. (more…)
The consequences of not using trained kitchen exhaust cleaning (KEC) technicians can be devastating. According the U.S. Fire Administration, nearly 6,000 restaurant fires are reported each year in the United States. And, of those, a percentage, around 21 percent, depending on the year, are caused by a failure to clean. But the concern is for one restaurant: yours.
Restaurant fires are often kitchen exhaust system fires. It’s easy to look at that big hood and hear that fan and think that everything dangerous is being blown straight up and away, but that simply is not the case. The kitchen exhaust system comprises the hood, filters, plenum, fans and what may be a labyrinth of horizontal and vertical ductwork – and the parts that you can see are likely only a small portion of the whole. (more…)
When it comes to fires, the best offense is a good defense. Here are some precautionary practices to help businesses safeguard their restaurants and bars against fires: (more…)
Onion rings, french fries, cheese curds, fried chicken, Friday fish fry. Is your mouth watering yet? What do all of these have in common – aside from being delicious, of course? These are just a few of the culprits when it comes to the production of large amounts of grease involved with commercial cooking. While exhaust hoods are designed to collect a lot of these grease-laden vapors and residues during the cooking process, the commercial cooking equipment being used to heat up the food is often overlooked and can become a collection point for grease.
For each year from 2011 to 2013, an estimated 5,600 restaurant fires were reported to fire departments in the United States, resulting in no fewer than five deaths, 100 injuries, and $116 million in property damage. Of those 5,600 fires, 64% involved cooking and grease played a factor in nearly half of those incidents (Source: U.S. Fire Administration). (more…)
It’s that time of the year again. The football season is underway, leaves are falling, and stomachs are rumbling with anticipation for that late Thursday in November when we dedicate a day to giving thanks. As you and your loved ones take time to reflect around the table, your gaze slowly shifts towards the delicious spread in front of you. While all of the food looks and smells wonderful, the main focus will no doubt be on that large, golden turkey in the center of the table.
Over the years, both the average consumer and restaurant owners have devised several different methods of cooking their whole turkeys in order to stand out from their friends and/or competitors. Eventually a trend grew among the public – attempts to deep fry whole turkeys outside, mainly in preparation for holidays or other occasions. Traditions have developed where the cook and onlookers stand over this outdoor deep fat fryer and listen as the oil sizzles and turkey quickly cooks. Many of us have seen these videos of whole turkeys flying out of the deep fat fryer or a large fire spreading to outlying areas (or in some cases, their own garages and homes). We may have joked or kidded with our friends about these scenarios, but I can assure you the people in the videos don’t find this funny. (more…)
As we celebrate our 100th year in business in 2015, we embark on another century of commitment to our policyholders. Our mission is to protect the livelihoods of our policyholders, and, as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In keeping with that theme, we’ll celebrate our 100th year in business with 100 important tips to help identify, evaluate and prevent dangers that could result in financial loss or injury in a year-long “Safe with Society” blog series.
Fire safety is intended to reduce destruction caused by fire. This includes measures taken to prevent fires as well as practices to limit the effects of a fire after it starts.
Use these 9 tips to evaluate and prepare: (more…)
Society Insurance recently had a significant fire loss in Wisconsin. We insured a general contractor who was building a condominium structure that caught on fire. Unfortunately, the fire resulted in the total loss of the condominium building, the loss of construction equipment, and significant damage to the siding of adjacent homes in the area.
Due to the size and scope of the fire, a considerable amount of time and money was spent trying to determine the cause of the fire. Investigators were able to rule out several possibilities, including electrical, as the cause but they were unable to determine the actual cause of the fire. (more…)
The use of commercial cooking equipment generates grease laden vapors. Commercial grade metal baffle filters should be installed in the kitchen hood above the cooking line to capture this grease before it enters the exhaust system. Grease is highly combustible and poses a fire hazard if allowed to accumulate, so it is important that these filters be cleaned on a regular basis.
Last week, we learned about the most common causes of fire loss based on Society Insurance claims data from 2011-2013. View the chart. We went into detail about cooking equipment hazards and the best ways to minimize those risks. This week, we will explore electrical fire risks and prevention tips.
Between 2011 and 2013, there were 83 electrical fires that cost Society over $14.5 million in claim settlement costs. Just like with cooking equipment, I asked Subrogation Specialist Kristina Huber, CPCU, AIC, CSRP, for her insight into the causes of these fires. (more…)
FIRE! This is a word you never want to hear in your business and it is the call in the night you never want to get. Best scenario is no one is hurt and it is only property damage, but even then it will still be devastating to your business. The investigation to determine the cause of the fire can go on for months and the clean-up from even a small fire may take several days and require a business shut down. In addition to the fire damage there will also be smoke and water damage that can extend out some distance from the original location of the fire.
The best response is to prevent the fire before it starts, so where do we begin?
To find out where to begin, I asked for help from one of Society’s experts, (more…)