Several household names in food manufacturing have suffered industrial fires in recent years.
Many processed foods that we buy in the supermarkets will have been deep fried or flash fried in hot oil as part of the preparation, to seal in flavour and give a golden coating. Industrial fryers are widely used in factories to prepare foods such as crisps and snacks, doughnuts, potato products, onion rings, burgers and chicken nuggets.
With frying oils being heated to very high temperatures, often close to 200˚C, there’s an inherent fire risk. Several household names in the food manufacturing sector have suffered fires to their industrial premises in recent years.
To add to this risk, composite insulated sandwich panels with a combustible core may have been used to construct partitions and ceilings around fryers, leading to a significant fire spreading risk. Fire suppression systems are usually installed on industrial fryers, but their reliability and effectiveness can be dependent on human factors.
As a leading business insurer, we know that having thorough risk management processes in place can help to minimise the risk of fire in commercial and industrial properties. For industrial fryers (not fryers in commercial kitchens) these could include:
Should the worst happen it’s important that the business has made everyone aware of what to do in the event of a fire.
Emergency response plan: A comprehensive emergency response action plan should be drawn up and posted on the wall close to the fryer and also at a safe distance from the fryer. To include photographs/images of the key components and clear instructions of what should be done by operators and emergency responders in the event of a fire and/or fire suppression system discharge.
Training: All operators and emergency responders should be trained on emergency response procedures and a training needs/training record matrix kept up to date with refresher training dates pre-scheduled.
CCTV: Consider installing Closed Circuit TV to cover the area around the fryer to aid emergency response and monitoring of a fire situation, as well as the status of the fire suppression discharge as it occurs.
To help businesses be more prepared, we’ve produced a free factsheet with information on:
You can download our Industrial fryer hazard controls guidance here.
QBE helps businesses build resilience through risk management and insurance.
Depending upon the size and complexity of the business needs, QBE customers can access a wide range of risk management services, self-assessment questionnaires and risk management toolkits which are focused on the key causes of claims, and on generating action plans for improved outcomes - including protecting employees, reducing risk and making claims less likely. You can find out more about how QBE helps businesses to manage risk here.
Finally, a reminder that if you have an incident and need to make an insurance claim, it’s important that you report it as soon as possible, ideally the same day. Reporting a claim early can save time and help you to receive any claim payments faster, as well as allowing us to help mitigate the cost of third-party claims.