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7 Tips to Ensure Your Building Sprinkler System Will Protect You

This entry is part 1 of 10 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 2 of 10 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 3 of 10 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 4 of 10 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 5 of 10 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…)

Smoking Controls to Reduce the Risk of Cigarette Fires

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Fire Prevention

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…)

Clean Cooking Equipment to Prevent Grease Fires

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Fire Prevention

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…)

8 Steps to Reduce the Risk of Fire at Your Bar or Restaurant

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Fire Prevention

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…)

Creosote in Your Restaurant Kitchen (It’s Not Just in Your Chimney)

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Fire Prevention

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…)

Fire Preventive Maintenance for Deep Fryers

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Fire Prevention

Many restaurants utilize some form of deep fat frying in their kitchen. These deep fryers are used to cook a variety of delicious foods: doughnuts, chicken wings, tortilla/potato chips, onion rings…the list goes on. While these items are undeniably popular and well-known throughout the world, little attention is given to the equipment that produces these tasty treats. This includes regular deep fryer maintenance and annual inspections by a qualified contractor.  (more…)