One of the greatest risk of fire begins in the commercial kitchen. With so many gas stoves operating at the same time, coupled with the accumulation of grease on the kitchen hood and exhaust duct, it is no surprise that Singapore is seeing an increasing amount of fire in F & B outlets such as coffee shops and hawker centres. The risk of fire is aggravated by the fact that many stalls share a single exhaust system. A fire that starts in an individual unit will be spread through the exhaust ducts due to grease built up.
Team Fiready would like to recommend the following tips to all F & B owners so that they can keep their kitchens ready against fire, whenever, wherever.
1. Degrease your kitchen exhaust at least once a year (mandatory requirement)
Due to the increasing instances of fire starting at the kitchen exhaust duct area, SCDF has mandated that all kitchen exhaust ducts must be maintained and degreased annually. It is an offence under the fire safety act not to degrease your kitchen exhaust duct!
Do note that degreasing the exhaust duct must be done by professional degreasing companies as there are many general cleaning contractors who just clean the façade of the hood without doing a deep cleaning in the exhaust duct area and the MV fan. Cleaning just the hood itself will still result in the spread of fire if the inner exhaust area and MV fan is not thoroughly cleaned and maintained.
Always ask for a service report with before and after pictures to verify that the degreasing company has done a professional job. NEA or SCDF might also ask to see this report during their routine checks.
2.Install a wet chemical kitchen hood suppression system
It is very important to have an automatic kitchenhood suppression system installed in your hood area to extinguish the fire when it begins. The current systems in the market are equipped with a temperature sensitive fusible link that will melt upon sensing extreme heat caused by fire and activate the chemical agent in the cylinder mounted near the hood to suppress the fire in the appliance, plenum and duct area.
The kitchen hood suppression system is also usually linked to the gas valve and the MV fan. Activation will cut off the gas supply and MV fan which will stop the spread of fire to other areas of the exhaust. (An MV fan still in operation will continue sucking the fire into the exhaust duct.)
It is also critical for this system to be maintained by a professional fire contractor yearly. The grease built up on the detection line might render the system ineffective in the event of a fire. Never attempt to clean the detection line yourself as more often than not it will result in accidental discharge of the system! You need to disarm the system first before degreasing the detection line. A false discharge requires clean-up which will affect the operations of the F & B outlet due to down time.
3.Installing a wet chemical fire extinguisher and fire blanket in your kitchen
Many F & B outlets are still using dry powder or foam extinguishers for their kitchen requirements. Under the new code of practice, kitchens must be equipped with wet chemical extinguishers. Wet Chemical agents are made up of a potassium acetate compound which is very effective against deep seated burning oil fire.
We do not recommend using dry powder extinguishers for kitchen fires. Not only is it less effective against burning oil fire, the aftermath clean-up process can be difficult. The dry powder agent can contaminate your food material and you have to do a very throughout clean up after that. Potassium acetate on the other hand is used as a food additive.
Another handy product to have in your kitchen is a fire blanket. The fire blanket can be used to put out small fires that start on pots and pans. Just cover the affected appliance with the fire blanket and smother the fire before it spreads.
Hopefully, the tips above will be useful to the F & B business owners. For further enquiries, feel free to call us @ 63665855 or email us at email@example.com. Stay safe and be ready against fire, whenever, wherever!
FIREADY is made up of individuals with many years of experience in the fire and safety industry. We aim to generate greater awareness on fire safety to the general public as well as protect our local SMEs, the cornerstone of our Singapore economy.