Before you open (or if you’re already operating) a Metro NYC area restaurant, Peter Martinez of Master Fire Systems lists out the Top 10 Things You Should Know About Fire Prevention:
1. Building Plans:
Make sure that your kitchen plans are filed with the City of New York Building Department. We have found that it can often take 6-8 weeks for approval of your fire protection plans.
2. Fire Protection Needs to Be Part of the Overall Plan:
When you build and file your fire protection plan with the City, make sure that you include your ventilation, mechanical, plumbing, gas valve and cooking equipment plans.
3. The Experience of the Fire Contractor:
Make sure you hire an experienced fire protection contractor who specializes in restaurants. Ask prospective contractors for references from jobs they have done and then call those references.
4. Do the Planning in Advance:
We have found that if you take the time to plan out your cooking equipment layout carefully and in advance that you will avoid costly changes and most importantly get opened on time.
5. Select the Right Hood:
We suggest making the commitment to use an engineered hood that lowers exhaust CFM’s. The minimal additional expense upfront will be paid back in energy savings over the lifetime of the restaurant .
6. Understanding MUA’s:
When you work with the contractor on the hood, we suggest requesting heated MUA’s (Make Up Air Controls).This step will maintain the temperature of the kitchen from getting cold.
7. Connect with the NBAT:
The City of New York has a new organization: NBAT (New Business Acceleration Team). The City wants new restaurants to open easily and so they have created this new service.
8. Signup for a Service Contract:
Make sure you have a licensed fire protection company to perform semi-annual service. Budget for a visit every six months to ensure the functioning of your system.
9. Get Trained:
You’ve made a big investment in your new restaurant. So take the time to get you and your employees trained on how to use the fire system and the extinguishers.
10. Duct Cleaning:
Again make sure you budget and schedule a quarterly duct cleaning. It’s the law and it will save the integrity of your system from a costly fire.
Peter Martinez is the President and CEO of Bronx, NY based Master Fire Systems. He would be happy to answer your fire prevention questions at 718-828-6424 (x208) or 646-772-1244 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com