Fire crews called to 2,200 commercial kitchen blazes a year

Fire engine

The number of fires that broke out in commercial kitchens has decreased by 5% over the last year, new statistics from the government show.

Fire services were called out to 2,200 kitchen fires between April 2013 and March 2014, around 100 more than the same period the year before.

The recorded fires took place in kitchens belonging to restaurants, cafes, pubs and takeaway outlets, according to the report from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Commercial kitchens account for 10% of the 22,000 fires that occurred in buildings not classified as domestic dwellings during 2013/14. Catering establishments are the fourth most likely non-dwelling category to suffer a fire behind private garages and sheds, retail distribution and industrial premises.

Although the report doesn’t highlight the causes of restaurant kitchen fires specifically, it does reveal that faulty appliances and leads remain the primary source of accidental blazes in commercial premises, accounting for 15% of incidents last year. Misuse of equipment or appliances was also cited as a major factor.

Additionally, the report named the main source of ignition as “electrical distribution”. This accounted for one fifth of accidental fires. Other key sources included cooking appliances and other electrical appliances.

The report did reveal, however, that fires caused by cooking appliances fell by 8% in 2013/2014.

There have been some high-profile kitchen blazes during the past 12 months despite the drop in the number of incidents.

Last weekend, local fire crews were called to a blaze which broke out in the ground-floor kitchen of luxury Somerset hotel Babington House. It is understood to have been caused by burning fat in a tray.

Four people were treated by emergency services for smoke inhalation, while the kitchen suffered fire and smoke damage.

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