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Commercial Cooking—Fire Safety Checklist

Commercial cooking operations present a significant fire risk to a property owner because of the availability of ignition sources (e.g., burners) and a high fuel-load (e.g., fats and grease). The following information can assist in assessing the fire exposures of commercial cooking operations.

Equipment

Are cooking appliances, such as ranges, deep fat fryers, and steamers, installed in compliance with NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)?
Are hoods and ducts for collecting cooking vapors and residues constructed of steel or equivalent material and equipped with easily accessible and removable noncombustible grease filters?
Are hoods and ducts vented to the exterior of the building and provided with an accessible opening for inspection and cleaning?
Are grease traps located under filters and pitched to drain into a metal container?
Are cooking appliances installed with adequate clearance to prevent overheating of adjacent surfaces?
Are deep-fat fryers installed with at least a 16-in. (4.06 cm) space between the fryer and surface flames of adjacent cooking equipment?
Are deep-fat fryers equipped with automatic fuel cutoff valves?
Are racks, trays, spacers, or containers placed inside ovens made of noncombustible materials that can be easily cleaned?
Are ovens, which are designed to spray vegetable oil into pans before baking or onto the product during baking, equipped with a temperature limiter that will shut down the heat source before oils reach their ignition temperature?
If blanching operations are performed, is blanching equipment utilizing steam equipped with relief valves and pressure reducers?
If canning operations are performed, is the equipment provided with over temperature and/or pressure controls that will shut down the heating systems in the event the processing chamber exceeds the maximum operating parameters?

Fire Protection

Do sprinklers protecting cooking and baking areas meet the requirements for Ordinary Hazard Group 1, in accordance with NFPA 13, Standard for Installation of Sprinkler Systems?
Are commercial-grade ranges, fryers, and related equipment protected by an automatic extinguishing system that is listed/approved for the exposure?
Is solid-fuel cooking equipment, other than equipment of solid masonry or refractionary concrete, protected by a water-based fire extinguishment system?
Are fire suppression systems for commercial cooking equipment equipped with alarms that are integrated into the building alarm system?
Are class K fire extinguishers provided within 10 ft. (3.05 m) of any cooking equipment?

Operations

Are operating instructions for cooking equipment readily accessible? Are control valves for gas service readily accessible and in good working condition?
Are employees trained in the safe operation of cooking equipment, including:
  • Combustion of fuel-air mixtures?
  • Explosion hazards?
  • Sources of ignition?
  • Functions of controls and devices?
Is kitchen equipment inspected on a regular basis, at least:
  • Quarterly for high-volume cooking operations?
  • Semi-annually for moderate-volume cooking operations?
  • Annually for low-volume cooking operations?
  • Monthly for solid fuel cooking appliances?
Are grease containers emptied at least daily?



Used with permission from ISO Services. Adopted from document CH-25-64 ISO Services.
The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of  any recommendations or advice  contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.
LC 12-207