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The Difference Between Class K Fire Extinguishers vs. ABC Fire Extinguishers

This entry is part of 16 in the series Fire Prevention

There is a grease fire that started on your commercial cooking line. You look back to find two fire extinguishers sitting on the wall. One is a silver fire extinguisher and the other is a common red fire extinguisher. You inspect them a little closer and notice that the silver one is marked as a class K fire extinguisher and the red one is marked as an ABC fire extinguisher. Which fire extinguisher should you use? Before we answer that question, let’s get into what each of the letters mean.

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Most Common Fire Hazards in Your Commercial Kitchen

This entry is part 1 of 16 in the series Fire Prevention

A United States Fire Administration report found that nearly 5,900 restaurant fires occur every year, causing around 75 injuries and more than $172 million in damage. Fires are a serious liability, so learn here about the most flammable items in your commercial kitchen and tips to prevent your livelihood from going up in flames.

Read, ‘Creosote in Your Restaurant, Not Just in Your Chimney.’

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Basic Cooking Equipment Maintenance Requirements

This entry is part 2 of 16 in the series Fire Prevention

Your cooking equipment is probably the most important thing inside your restaurant. One unexpected failure could ruin a busy dinner service. Even worse, a kitchen fire could put you out of service for days, or even weeks.

To keep your equipment – and your business – operational, the following five points are often the most critical routine maintenance requirements in the kitchen. The best practices listed below are the requirements of Society Insurance and are based on our company’s loss history and expertise in the restaurant markets that we serve. These best practices closely reflect the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and may be more or less stringent than the NFPA standards.  (more…)

The Risks of Serving Flaming Alcohol (It’s a Bad Idea)

This entry is part 3 of 16 in the series Fire Prevention

Some bars and restaurants are eager to ignite an exciting atmosphere by mixing liquor with fire. Whether it’s setting shots ablaze or pouring flaming liquor cascades, each method has one thing in common: severe risk.

While there are liquor liability concerns and challenges just with serving alcohol alone, flaming drinks introduce a greater degree of dangers: (more…)

7 Tips to Ensure Your Building Sprinkler System Will Protect You

This entry is part 4 of 16 in the series Fire Prevention

If your building caught on fire today, would your sprinkler system activate and control the fire? Ninety-five percent of the time your sprinkler system will do what it is supposed to do, but there are several things that YOU can do to increase your chances even more. Below are seven tips a building owner can act on to ensure their investment doesn’t go up in flames. (more…)

Extinguish a Major Cause of Kitchen Fires

This entry is part 5 of 16 in the series Fire Prevention

Fire blackens, boils and barbeques the delicious meals that put restaurants in business. Without the right precautions, however, fire can just as easily shutter restaurants permanently.

A United States Fire Administration report found that nearly 5,900 restaurant fires occur every year, causing around 75 injuries and more than $172 million in damage. (more…)

Fire Drill: Are Your Fire Prevention Practices Alarming?

This entry is part 6 of 16 in the series Fire Prevention

Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record. It was established to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire which began on October 8, 1871, but did most of its damage on October 9, killing more than 250 people, leaving 100,000 homeless, destroying 17,400 structures and burning more than 2,000 acres. On that same day, the most devastating forest fire in American history roared through Northeast Wisconsin. The Peshtigo Fire burned down 16 towns and 1.2 million acres, killing 1,152 people. The President of the United States has signed a proclamation proclaiming a national observance during the week in which October 9 falls every year since 1925. (more…)

Learning from Loss: Cooking Equipment Fires

This entry is part 7 of 16 in the series Fire Prevention

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…)

Learning From Loss: Electrical Fires

This entry is part 8 of 16 in the series Fire Prevention

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.

Electrical Equipment

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…)

Importance of Cigarette Smoking Policies at Your Restaurant & Bar

This entry is part 9 of 16 in the series Fire Prevention

Updated July 2, 2020

In recent years, there have been an increased number of states that have enacted laws for prohibiting or restricting smoking at worksites, restaurants and bars.  Before 2004, there were only two states with complete smoking bans at worksites, restaurants and bars. With these restrictions in place, proper disposal of spent smoking materials, the correct location of designated smoking areas and effective housekeeping controls become very important because it limits ignition sources and reduces the ability of a fire to spread.

Regardless of whether or not your establishment allows smoking, the following measures should be taken to decrease the likelihood of a fire and/or in the event of a fire, reduce the possibility of it spreading. (more…)