Commercial Kitchen Fire Safety

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Each year, a large number of fires occur in commercial kitchens and other cooking situations. These fires often result in significant loss of property and Interruption to business.

Common causes of commercial kitchen fires include; overheating of oils and fat, accumulation of fatty residues in range hoods and ducting, poorly maintained equipment and absence of suitable fire protection equipment. Experience shows us that many serious fire losses can be avoided. We have used our industry knowledge and claims experience to produce this easy to follow guide and self assessment checklist.

Following are some practical hints to help you avoid fires occurring in commercial cooking situations:

Equipment and procedures

  • Deep Fry cooking equipment must be fitted with emergency over-temperature controls, as well as thermostatic controls.
  • Oil used in Deep Fryers must be replaced regularly. Oil should be replaced at least weekly and filtered at least every two days. In larger, busier kitchens, replacement and filtering may be required more regularly.
  • Drums of cooking oil must not be stored under, or close to, cooking equipment.
  • All grease or vapor producing cooking equipment must me located under a mechanically ventilated range hood, which is ducted to the outside atmosphere.
  • Emergency shut-off valves for gas and electrically powered cooking equipment should be located in an easily accessible location.


  • A Fire Blanket should be wall mounted in a readily accessible location, close to the all cooking areas.
  • At least one Wet Chemical fire extinguisher, minimum capacity of 7 litres, should be installed in each cooking area.
  • An additional fire extinguisher, suitable for electrical fires, such as a B(E) Dry Chemical Extinguisher should also be installed, minimum capacity 4.5 kg.
  • Larger restaurants should also consider installing an automatic fire suppression system above all cooking equipment and with nozzles within the range hood and ducting.


  • Range Hood Filters must be cleaned or exchanged at least fortnightly. In larger kitchens this should be done weekly.
  • Range Hood Ducting must be professionally cleaned at least every 6 months.
  • Cooking appliances such as Deep Fryers must be inspected and serviced by a qualified technician at least annually.
  • All portable Fire Extinguishers, Fire Blankets and Suppression Systems must be serviced every 6 months.
  • Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Dishwashing, and other similar equipment should be subject to regular maintenance agreement.

Download your self-assessment here.




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