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Incidents of Fires in Eating and Drinking Establishments

When it comes to having the largest choice and the best restaurants in the world, you cannot top New York City. Pick any block and you’ll see dozens of restaurants, serving food from every continent. The restaurant industry is not only a major tourist attraction but also a huge contributor to the local NYC economy. For these reasons, as well as for the safety and protection of the public, fire safety in eating and drinking establishments is of primary importance. Because of this, business owners need to be aware of the primary threats of fire and how to combat them.


Thankfully, there are organizations like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that does studies on fire incidents and from those, we can better protect ourselves. Recently, the NFPA released a study of fires that took place in eating and drinking business sites all across the country, from 2010 - 2014. The stats that will be discussed today are relative to fires that were called in to local fire departments; they do not include unreported fires, likely ones that were small and handled in-house. 

In total, 7410 fires were reported every year. Of the reported fires, there were on average 3 civilian deaths as well as 110 civilian injuries, with $165 million in damage to property each year.

When we are studying the causes of the fires and the resulting damaged cause, below is a list that summarizes that information: 

Cooking Equipment: Responsible for 61% of fires, 38% of property damage

Electrical Distribution and Lighting: Responsible for  9% of fires, 21% of property damage

Heating Equipment: Responsible for  9% of fires, 9% of property damage

Smoking Materials: Responsible for  7% of fires, 7% of property damage.

From these statistics, it’s clear that cooking equipment and electrical issues have the potential to cause the most problems. When we study cooking equipment a little more closely, we see that 21% of the fires were due to deep fryers, and 14% were due to stovetops. Cooking materials were the first thing to catch fire in 43% of the fires.

One other telling statistic is that failing to clean properly was a factor in 22% of the fires.

So what’s our take-away from this report? It’s true that we can identify the primary causes of fires in restaurants as cooking and electrical issues; however, while incidents of loss of life were relatively low, there were still enormous losses in the way of property damage - millions of dollars.

One way to help contain a fire once it starts is through flameproofing. Flameproofing protects decorative items with a coating of fire retardant chemicals.  These treatments significantly slow the spread and severity of a fire, and the treated items are no longer combustible. That can seriously minimize the amount of property damage from a fire. Additionally, because the fire is somewhat contained through flameproofing, there’s sufficient time for the property to be safely evacuated.

If you are in the food industry and have need of flameproofing treatments, Manhattan Flameproofing is here to help. We have been serving the New York City and the Greater Metro New York area for over 50 years. Please call us today if you have questions or are in need of flameproofing services. You can also receive a free, no-obligation quote:  1-800-268-7993 




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