The Most Common Causes of Commercial Kitchen Fires in Bay Area, CA

common causes of commercial kitchen fires

Do you own a business in the San Francisco Bay Area? Well, first of all, congratulations. Second, how protected are you from common causes of commercial kitchen fires? There are many ways that your commercial establishment can heat up, and not in the ways that you would necessarily want!

The best way to prevent any fire is to understand the different ways fires can start in the first place. That way, you can reduce the risks of a fire ever happening. You’ll also know where your focus should be when it comes to fire protection and where fire alarm systems should be primarily placed.

Why should fire protection be one of your top priorities?

We understand. Running a business takes plenty of work. Why add concerns to your already very loaded plate?

Well, think about it: can your business really recover from a fire? Imagine all that damage to your property and to all the items that are in that commercial establishment. And not only that: a huge fire can likely destroy all systems you have in place to deliver your product or service to your customers. How would you be able to generate revenue if your systems are no longer in existence? 

And of course, if your systems are gone, you can’t expect your customers to stick around while you rebuild. They may sympathize with you, but if they truly need your product, they will most likely go to your nearest competitor. You can’t blame them if their needs are truly urgent.

Oh, and if a major fire does happen in your commercial establishment, people may see that you have a negligent and very irresponsible attitude when it comes to safety. That may not be true, but you won’t also be able to stop people from talking, especially if say, someone perishes in the fire.

Finally, sure, you may have insurance to help you fund your rebuild, but obtaining pay-outs is not easy. There are many processes you have to go through, and it will take time. And insurance will not cover lost customers or repair a reputation that has been severely damaged by the circumstances.

In short, having to recover from a fire is very challenging. That’s why installing a fire alarm and other fire protection systems are very important, as well as examining the common causes of commercial kitchen fires.

Now, let’s get to the common causes of fires in commercial establishments.

The kitchen has plenty of fire-starting hazards.

If your commercial establishment has a restaurant or any place where cooking is being done, that definitely means you’re opening your place to plenty of ways for unwanted fires to start. Remember, it only takes a small spark or a small gas leak for any place to catch fire. 

Here are some potential fire hazards in a restaurant or kitchen:

  • Open flames – You need a fire to cook, right? Sadly, anything that touches an open flame can easily catch fire. You need to be careful around even small things like loose clothing or long hair!
  • Induction cookers with hot surfaces – If the people in the kitchen aren’t careful or in the middle of a lot of cooking, they may forget that some induction cookers, while turned off, were just recently used. That means the surface is still hot, which can also start fires.
  • Grease traps that are full – These greasy traps have food pieces, stray paper pieces, and so much more that can all easily catch fire when more hot grease comes into contact with the current amount of grease.
  • Unsafe storage of flammable items – If people in the kitchen leave oil and other things that catch fire easily lying around, well, you know what the result may be, especially if they are left near open fires.

Smoking areas may still have smoldering cigarettes.

You can’t prevent people from wanting to smoke. It’s their choice after all. However, fires may start because of smokers. Why? Well, sadly, not all smokers make sure that they snuff their cigarettes out when they’re done. Plenty of people just toss them onto the floor or in the garbage. And if that particular garbage disposal has plenty of flammable materials, you can be sure that everything there will light up!

The worst-case scenario that may happen is that a smoker tosses the cigarette butt on the ground, where it is blown by the wind (still lit, by the way) and it lands in a facility with plenty of hazardous materials. It may sound like a plot from a bad horror movie, but you never know!

You have faulty wiring.

If your commercial establishment has a bunch of loose wires and faulty connections, those can be the reasons for fires as well. Include overloaded extension cords and plugs. This usually happens because of business owners who put off replacing worn-out equipment.

Heating devices

There are plenty of different kinds of heating devices that’s why it’s important to know the common causes of commercial kitchen fires. There are electric heaters, furnaces, boilers, and radiators. It doesn’t matter what kind your building uses. But what does matter is that you should know any of these can start a fire. 

This can happen because of improper use. They may be set to a temperature that’s too high, leading to malfunctions and overheating, which can lead to the beginnings of fires.


Arson is defined as the criminal act of setting properties on fire. If you’re wondering why anyone would want to do that, well, there are plenty of reasons. Some are business owners who need money from insurance to keep funding their failing businesses. Some are just vandals who are tripping. Others are those with psychological problems related to fires. 

But probably the worst are unhappy clients or former employees who are seeking revenge. Not to alarm you or anything, but if you feel like there’s someone you have encountered that has tendencies to do this, it is best to inform the proper authorities right away. Also, better add some security cameras alongside your fire protection system.

You have malfunctioning fire protection systems.

Fire alarms that don’t work won’t directly cause fires to your establishment. But if they don’t work, they can’t protect you from fires! There won’t be any signal coming from them to alert the nearest fire department.

Protect your business from common causes of commercial kitchen fires

Now that you know what fires can start in commercial establishments, the next step is finding ways to prevent them from ever happening. One of the best steps you can take is Googling “fire inspection in Bay Area” and getting a fire inspection company to fill in the gaps for fire prevention.

If you need Bay Area fire inspection experts, look no further than us at Fire Alarm Testing Inc. We are a California fire inspection company that has the latest equipment to ensure the health and quality of fire alarms and other fire prevention devices, as well as technicians whose training are always kept up to date.

We not only do fire alarm inspections and testing. We also do round-the-clock fire alarm monitoring as well as fire alarm system repairs.

Contact us today to ensure the safety of your commercial establishment against devastating fires or to learn more about common causes of commercial kitchen fires.