Restaurant / Bars Blog

3 Ways to Protect Your Restaurant From Grease Fires

grease fire chef w flames websiteGrease fires are one of the most dangerous and expensive emergencies facing restaurant and bar owners. Every year, grease fires cause over a hundred injuries and nearly $250 million in damages to bars and restaurants, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. In late July of this year, a large grease fire forced the closure of Santa Monica bar “Yankee Doodles.” While the initial fire was put out in just 15 minutes, grease in the restaurant’s ducts continued to burn for 2 hours.  Below are a few tips from Tegner-Miller Insurance Brokers to help Southern California restaurant owners prevent grease fires.

  •  Train all employees on the proper methods for dealing with grease fires. Most importantly, all employees should know NOT to use water to extinguish a grease fire. Not only will water not extinguish grease fires, it might exacerbate the problem by splashing flaming grease or oil onto other surfaces or even worse – a person.
    • Small, contained grease fires (for example, in a pot or pan) can be extinguished with baking soda.
    • For larger flames, you will want to use a Class B Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher.
    • However, always remember that the safety of your employees and customers is more important than any structural damages. Evacuate and call 911 before a fire gets out of control. Make sure that employees are well trained in an emergency evacuation plan.
  • Properly dispose of and clean all grease rags. Soiled grease rags can spontaneously combust due to chemical reactions, even WITHOUT the addition of a heat source.
    • Be sure to purchase an industrial grade washer that is designed to clean greasy rags or use a linen service which will pick up soiled and drop off clean towels and rags.
    • Similarly, only use detergents meant to clean oil and grease.
    • Consider installing a grease fire suppression system. These systems, such as those produced by ANSUL, are designed to protect ducts, hoods and commercial cooking equipment from grease fires. Speak to your broker at TMIB to discuss if ANSUL systems are right for your business.

 If you have any questions regarding this coverage or any other restaurant related insurance, please call us at 310-828-9662.  You may also want to visit for a more information about the types of insurance with which we can assist you.