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Own a Restaurant? Warnings about Outdated Fire Protection Systems

Restaurants, cafes and other eating establishments are workplaces that are at a high risk from fire. This is due to the environment with the potential of combustibles in close proximity to hot surfaces and open flames.

The most common fires involve unattended cooking, overheating of cooking oil or fat, and the ignition of fatty residues within range hoods and ducting.

Restaurants owners planning to open a new restaurant in the space where another previously existed may be playing with fire if they don’t upgrade obsolete or poorly functioning fire suppression systems.

In many cases, it’s great if you have the opportunity because it’s already set up to be a restaurant, but depending on the age of the system, there could be elements of it that no longer meet current building and safety codes.

What To Look For

When a restaurant owner is considering a building in which to occupy his or her business, there are some things they can look for that may provide some insight into the age of the fire suppression system and how well the system may have been maintained by the previous owner.

One of those is checking the fire extinguishers to see if they are tagged, which is a sign that they have been inspected and maintained. Another piece of equipment on fire security systems that can be checked is the links, because they often will have a date on them if they have been inspected by a professional. It is recommended that larger cooking and food preparation facilities are protected by automatic wet chemical systems for their deep fryers. Wet chemical fire extinguishers and fire blankets should also supplement this system, and also applies to smaller facilities. Ensure that the appropriate fire extinguishers and fire blankets are installed in an easily accessible location and not near vats and hot plates. They must be in good working order and checked as per Australian Standards. Ensure all cookers/fryers etc. have thermostats fitted, are serviced and cleaned as recommended by manufacturers.

Commonsense Signs

There also are some common sense signs that show whether a system has been maintained, such as parts of the system being rusted or covered with grease.

In addition, those are clear signs that perhaps cleaning and maintenance schedules on the system weren’t maintained.

Also Read >>Fire Suppression Essentials for Restaurant and Commercial Kitchens<<

Time to Call in the Professionals

To be sure of what they are purchasing before they seal the deal, many restaurant owners contact a professional fire protection company to perform an inspection. These services often are free and can include cost estimates for any repairs and improvements that may be required to bring the system up to current code prior to the restaurant opening.

If you don’t know what you’re looking for regarding these systems, it is a good idea to call a fire protection specialists that can send someone out to perform an inspection. That way, you go into the deal with your eyes wide open and fully aware of what additional expenditures may be necessary prior to opening the doors for business.

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