Having put in much hard work to make your restaurant a success, the last thing you want is to see a fire burn down your dreams in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, many restaurants across the U.S. experience fires, with some suffering damages that make it impossible to rebuild and start over. Rather than see your dreams go up in smoke, do everything you can to protect your restaurant against potential fires. If you’re curious as to what you can do, here are some recommendations to keep in mind to keep your restaurant safe and accident free.

Maintain Your Sprinkler System

First and foremost, you should always maintain your restaurant’s sprinkler system. To do so, have it inspected twice per year by a professional who is certified and licensed. By doing so, they can spot potential problems with corrosion or other issues that could result in sprinkler head failure. You shouldn’t need to do anything else to keep your sprinkler system in working order, but having these regular inspections will ensure that they are working when you need them most.

Clean Your Equipment

If you have grease buildup in various traps or hoods, this can set the stage for a major fire in your restaurant. Therefore, take advantage of commercial kitchen hood cleaners to keep your most important equipment as clean as possible. Whether you do this yourself or outsource the job, doing so can give you peace of mind and a safer restaurant for your employees and customers. To ensure that all of your necessary equipment gets cleaned regularly, create a schedule where you have employees or outside professionals deep clean different areas of your restaurant.

Have Fire Extinguishers Nearby

Should you have a sprinkler system that fails to function properly, your restaurant’s fire extinguishers will be your only line of defense until firefighters arrive. Thus, you should always have the best fire extinguishers possible for your restaurant. For example, in the kitchen area always have Class K extinguishers nearby, and ensure Class ABC extinguishers are available in the dining and storage areas. Most of all, provide training to all employees so they know what to do should a fire occur. If you haven’t checked them for a while, take a look at your fire extinguishers to make sure they are still viable. While they last a while, they don’t last forever and can be unreliable if they are too old.

Use Flame-Retardant Materials

If you have an older restaurant, you may want to consider upgrading to numerous types of flame-retardant materials. For example, many types of table cloths, window treatments, and cloth napkins are now made with fire-resistant materials. In addition, older furniture that is mostly upholstered and padded can also be very flammable. By upgrading to more modern fixtures, you can not only give your business a fresh new look, but also make it much safer.

Though it may take an initial investment to make some of these upgrades, it will be money well-spent. By doing so now, you can prevent a needless tragedy that may ruin your business.