Saturday, April 16, 2011

USFA Releases Restaurant Building Fires Report

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) United States Fire Administration (USFA) has issued a special report examining the characteristics of restaurant building fires.

The report, Restaurant Building Fires, was developed by USFA’s National Fire Data Center and is based on 2007 to 2009 data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).

Restaurant Building Fires

According to the report:
  • An estimated 5,900 restaurant building fires occur annually in the United States, resulting in an estimated average of 75 injuries and $172 million in property loss.
  • The leading cause of all restaurant building fires is cooking at 59 percent and nearly all of these cooking fires (91 percent) are small, confined fires with limited damage.
  • While cooking is the leading cause of all restaurant building fires as well as the smaller, confined restaurant building fires, electrical malfunction is the leading cause of the larger, nonconfined restaurant building fires.
  • Nonconfined restaurant building fires most often start in cooking areas and kitchens (41 percent).
  • Deep fryers (9 percent), ranges (7 percent), and miscellaneous kitchen and cooking equipment (5 percent) are the leading types of equipment involved in ignition in nonconfined restaurant building fires.
  • Smoke alarms were reported as present in 44 percent of nonconfined restaurant building fires. In addition, full or partial automatic extinguishment systems, mainly sprinklers, were present in 47 percent of nonconfined restaurant building fires.
For additional insights, video clips and a referenced NIOSH Report, Go to for the complete article, HERE

Considerations around the Kitchen Table:
  • What experiences have you or your company had at commerical fires at restaurant occupancies?
  • What level of situational awareness must be maintained during operations?
  • What are some of the safety considerations that must be employed during subsequent operations?
  • There are numerous hazards associated with fire suppression operations and tactics at commercial kitchen fires, do you now what they are?
  • What are some of the key strategic and tactical considerations for operations at restaurant building fires?
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  1. The restaurant owner has a responsibility to both employees and members of the public to ensure that all reasonable steps have been taken to guarantee a safe environment is maintained. If you suspect that shortcomings on the part of the restaurant owner or other responsible person were directly responsible for your restaurant accident, contact a solicitor.


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