During 2010-2014, an estimated average of 7,410 structure fires in eating and drinking establishments were reported to U.S. fire departments each year. These fires resulted in associated annual losses of:
Cooking equipment was the leading cause of fires in these properties, accounting for three out of five fires (61%) and 38% of direct property damage.
Source: Structure Fires in Eating and Drinking Establishments, Richard Campbell NFPA, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169, www.nfpa.org Research, Data and Analytics Division, firstname.lastname@example.org
If 22% of kitchen fires can be attributed to a failure to clean, then cleaning would be a good start. Although cleaning is a simple process of “just cleaning” why is it so hard for staff or site managers to get it right?
What are the effects of a kitchen fire in an eating or drinking establishment?
This report from the NFPA puts a sobering view on the importance of cleaning in commercial kitchens. “Failure to clean was a factor in 22% of the fires” says these fires could have been preventable.
If 22% of kitchen fires can be attributed to a failure to clean, then cleaning would be a good start. Although cleaning is a simple process of “just cleaning” why is it so hard for staff or site managers to get it right? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Train – You must get your team to buy into WHY it’s important, so they’ll want to clean. Look at the 2 examples below and decide which training approach is better:
The first intimidation technique does not create loyalty – the employee will leave you once they find a better employer. Staff turnover is expensive as is losing valuable employees who will go work for your competition.
2. Supervision – Make managers or team leaders responsible for ensuring proper cleaning procedures are used.
3. Validate – Perform regular inspections or audits to validate the work is getting done or if you have multiple sites use a validation app such as FotoFinish.
4. Schedule – Either a calendar or a daily-weekly-monthly-quarterly cleaning schedule will do fine.
5. Checklist – to supplement the cleaning schedule use a checklist.
6. Research – the more you know the more you know!
7. Multiple Sites - If you have multiple sites you might need some help. As a head office it is your responsibility to make sure all your sites are following your “recipe” of best practices policies and procedures.
In summary, if you follow these 3 steps, you’ll always have a safe clean environment for you, your staff and your customers.