Deep Fat Fryer Fire
Deep Fat Fryer Fire

When Fire Strikes
A Guide for Commercial Kitchens

Employers and Employees: Know Your Role in an Emergency



​First Aid for Burns

Twenty percent of all burns treated in hospitals result from kitchen injuries. Most of these burns occurred when hot oil ignited and the patient tried to move the cooking pan. Taking quick action is important when you are assisting a burn victim.

Healthier Foods = Hotter Fires!

America's eating habits are changing. We are selecting foods with less fat and cholesterol, but this has also created a fire danger. Many commercial kitchens have switched from cooking with animal fats such as lard to using vegetable oils in fryers. Vegetable oils burn hotter than animal fat, so vegetable oil fires are hotter and more difficult to extinguish. If you are using vegetable oil in your fryers, make sure your fire suppression system and fire extinguishers are designed to put out these hotter fires.

Smoking Materials and Fire Safety

According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoking causes 7% of all fires in eating and drinking establishments. ​Oregon's Indoor Clean Air Act prohibits smoking in almost all indoor workplaces and indoor public places, including restaurants and bars. Businesses are required to post "no smoking within 10 feet" signs at all building entrances and exits. 

If your business provides an outdoor smoking area, follow these guidelines:

​Fire Exit Drills as a Learning Experience

Fire is always unexpected. It demands fast decisions and quick action in an environment that is smoke-filled, dark, and intensely hot. Think of each fire drill as an opportunity to prepare for the unimaginable and learn something new. 

Review the achievement of goals after each drill and you will increase your performance and safety.

How to Report a Fire

It takes less than three minutes for a free-burning fire to reach temperatures over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Because you have so little time, it is important to be ready when you call 9-1-1.

​​What to do if You are Trapped

​​Human Behavior in Public Assembly Fires

Have you ever woken up from a sleep and, for a moment, didn't know where you were? That is the feeling people have in a fire. It feels like it is not real. Your mind tries to make sense of what you are seeing.  Signs of fire are often misinterpreted. For instance, during a restaurant fire, diners may assume that smoke is coming from the kitchen and is not threatening because that is what their experience has conditioned them to expect. 

DELAY IS DEADLY. The failure to act quickly in the early stage of a public assembly fire is a primary cause of death. Staff must provide clear leadership and communication to achieve a successful evacuation.  Research shows:
​​If you see a fire, or even just suspect a fire, take action! 

The Medford Fire Department is here to Serve and Protect

Our goal is to keep you, your employees, your customers, and your property safe.  Let us know if we can help you make your business a safer environment.


(Source: The Idea Bank, "When Fire Strikes"... A VideoGuide for Commercial Kitchen Employees)

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