The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Healthcare Premises – High Risk Fire Hazards & Precautions – Part 93

September 16, 2019 12:15 pm

In LWF’s blog series for healthcare professionals, our aim is to give information on best practice of fire safety in hospitals and other healthcare premises. In part 92, we talked about what might go into the planning and location of a main kitchen within healthcare premises. In part 93, we will look at the correct use of fat fryers in a healthcare main kitchen and what precautions should be taken during operation.
Many fires in main kitchens are caused by the inefficient use or maintenance of fat fryers. It is important, therefore, that all staff are well-trained in their use and care and that a timetable of cleaning and maintenance is enforced.

The fat fryer must not be over or under filled and oil or fat must be maintained at the correct levels indicated by the manufacturer. Overfilling fat fryers with oil or fat can lead to splashing when food is lowered into the heated oil/fat. Levels which are too low may result in the thermostat working incorrectly and can lead to dangerous overheating, which would increase the risk of fire.

The heating source must be turned off when used oil supplying pans or fat is being drained from the pans. Extreme care should be taken when solid fat is introduced to an empty pan, as mentioned previously, the thermostat is likely to overheat when insufficient oil or fat is present within the fat fryer.

It should also be borne in mind that different fats and oils have varying flashpoints. A change in cooking fat or oil can lead to changes in the time taken to overheat which might lead to a fire situation. Estates staff must be notified when a change to the cooking oil or fat is to be made so that the thermostat settings can be checked and changed as necessary. It is important that a mixture of different oils and fats is not used.

Regular inspection and maintenance of fat fryers is necessary in order to reduce the risk of fire. Even the best quality machinery cannot continue to function efficiently if it is not well-maintained. There have been fire incidents where cooking oil has leaked from faulty pans into the gas burners below which destroys the valves and associated control equipment.

In part 94 of this series, LWF will continue talking about efficient use and care of fat fryers, before considering another high-risk area for fire – Laundries. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this blog, or wish to discuss your own project with one of our fire engineers, please contact us.

Lawrence Webster Forrest has been working with their clients for over 25 years to produce innovative and exciting building projects. If you would like further information on how LWF and fire strategies could assist you, please contact Peter Gyere on 0800 410 1130.

While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

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