The vast majority of residential fires in the United States occur when people are cooking.
From 2014-2016, this lead to an estimated $463 million in property loss annually.
This risk can transfer over to food truck owners, too. If you have a food truck, one of the most important things you can learn is how to put out a fire. The faster you act, the less you’ll lose since you can quickly and safely put out the fire.
Keep reading to find out how to put out a food truck kitchen fire so you can save yourself and your business.
1. Identify the Source
The first thing you need to do is identify the source of the fire.
This will determine what steps you need to take to put out the fire.
Most importantly, you need to know if it’s a grease fire. Grease fires can be extremely dangerous and will spread if you throw water on them.
2. Cut Off Oxygen
No matter what type of fire you’re dealing with, it needs oxygen to burn.
That’s why the first thing you should do is cut off as much oxygen as possible.
If the fire is in an oven or microwave, close the door. This will help cut off oxygen from the fire and it will often go out quickly on its own. This will also help prevent the fire from spreading beyond that appliance.
Fires in pans on the stove can be cut off from oxygen by placing the lid on the pan. Be sure to use an oven mitt and move quickly but carefully in and out of the flames.
An open fire may be smothered with a damp towel or apron. Be sure to place the damp cloth quickly onto the flames and leave it there as long as it doesn’t catch on fire.
Avoid smacking the fire with dry cloths because that can add oxygen to it and spread the fire further.
3. Remove Fuel
The next step you should take is to remove whatever is fueling the fire, if possible.
In many cases, that means turning off the gas to the stove.
If it’s not safe to remove a fuel source, you’ll want to move onto the next step.
4. Use Your Fire Extinguisher
Your food truck should be equipped with a fire extinguisher.
When you can’t easily remove the oxygen or fuel source from the flames, it’s time to pull this out.
The most important thing to remember when using a fire extinguisher is to aim the spray at the base of the fire rather than the flames themselves.
You can also have your food truck equipped with a fire suppression system, which will automatically turn on if the heat of your cooking area exceeds a certain temperature.
5. Call the Fire Department
When all else fails or when the fire is getting out of control, it’s time to bail and call the fire department.
Stay as far away from your truck as possible while waiting for help to arrive and keep others at a safe distance as well.
What to Do After a Food Truck Kitchen Fire
Now you know how to deal with a food truck kitchen fire so you can limit the amount of damage and loss you suffer if it happens to you.
As you can see, it requires fast but calm actions, so preparation is essential.
After you’ve dealt with a fire, you may be wondering what the next step is. Once you’ve replaced any necessary parts and made your repairs, it’s time to get back to business.
Check out some food truck marketing tips to get your business back on track.
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For more food truck advice and inspiration, check out the rest of our blog here.