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Restaurant Suppression Issues – Grease Accumulation

May 3, 2012
Loss Control Inspections

Photo by: Kristen Skinner, Field Representative

Our last article was about grease effluent carried into the exhaust system. We have shown how a properly installed filtering system prevents grease from building up rapidly inside vents and starting a confined fire.

But, as we all know, not all grease effluent goes into the exhaust system: a large quantity of grease stays with the cooking appliances.

Fryers hold oils in the vats; grills collect grease on the surface and then it is scraped on the side of the grill; ovens usually have grease baked onto the interior surfaces, but this can run out of drain openings to cups; and charbroilers usually burn grease on the heat element, but much of it just settles at the bottom of the bed.

Fire safety requires that areas where grease collects inside appliances and in containers from appliances should be frequently cleaned during the day and not allowed to spill over onto the floor.

Grease also condenses on the outside of the appliances and hoods. Without proper cleaning, some of this grease will drain onto the floor and some will build up on the walls and sides of cooking equipment. Hidden grease accumulating in the immediate vicinity of gas burners or electrical elements is a serious reason for concern because there is no detection or suppression system within this appliance area to suppress the fire when it occurs.

Hidden grease buildup is the reason to keep a vigilant eye on old appliances to detect any possible leaks. It is essential to inspect them frequently and keep the area around burners grease-free.

Our advice:

  1. Clean floor, walls, and rear area of appliances at least once a day.
  2. If your appliances are a little old, check for leaks and repair immediately!


Read Part 1, Part 2 & Part 4 of this series.


Article by: Cristina Pellett, Field Representative


Learn about WSRB commercial property & kitchen inspections

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