Managing Fire Risks in Commercial Kitchens

Last month, Ian Bartle, Managing Director of Nobel Fire Systems, was asked to speak at the Fire Protection Association’s seminar on Managing Fire Risks in Commercial Kitchens.

The seminar was a great success with presentations from a variety of industry professionals on fire safety in commercial kitchens. Phil Prosser, formerly of BAA Heathrow, spoke about the disastrous fire at Heathrow Airport in one of the fast food outlet kitchens that shut Heathrow Airport and had massive multi-million pound knock-on effects on the airspace around the airport.

Duct cleaning experts were also on hand to speak about the dangers of not providing an adequate cleaning regime and the impact this could have on business both long and short term, including financial and personal loss from fire damage.

The seminar also covered common causes of catering fires including human error, thermostatic controls, installation and maintenance of cooking equipment, cleaning and maintenance, and gas and electrical equipment failure.

Ian then took the podium and spoke about what the industry can do to detect and suppress fires in commercial kitchens. His presentation provided key information on different types and the suitability of fire suppression systems in catering areas, as well as industry standards and similar approaches, and how these can work in specific catering environments. Ian pushed the need for proper risk assessments, cleaning and proper active fire protection systems in the industry.

This led nicely to a presentation about emerging technologies including biological cleaning technologies and remote grease monitoring and the effect this could have on preventing fires in kitchens.

Following this range of interesting and insightful presentations, the seminar ended with a panel discussion with a robust Q&A session from the audience.

The whole seminar was a fantastic opportunity to discuss issues and fire suppression systems with other professionals in the catering industry.