Loss analysis Main category: Food and drink Sub category: Restaurants and cafes

Jan 2009 to Dec 2017: During this period, large loss fires involving providers of food and drink accounted for 9.5% of all large loss fires

The numbers: There were 503 large loss fires involving providers of food and drink, 217 of which occurred in restaurants and cafes

Cause Food and drink

Restaurants and cafes Time of day

Food and drink

Restaurants and cafes Impedances

Food and drink Restaurants and cafes

Accidental 56.4% 66.2%

9.0% 11.6%

Deliberate 23.1% 11.6%

11.2% 14.8%

Unknown/unassigned 20.6% 22.2%

00:00 - 06:00 06:00 - 12:00 12:00 - 18:00 18:00 - 00:00 25.6% 20.6%

14.2% 13.9%

Total 56 21

Access 36 16

Acetylene Inadequate water 1 0

8 3

Unknown 40.1% 39.1%

Resources 11 2

The cost: Fires involving providers of food and drink account for 5.7% of estimated financial losses in all large loss fires, with an average of £460,771 per fire. Large loss fires in restaurants and cafes cost a total of £90,936,237 with an average loss of £419,61

Insurance component

Food and drink Restaurants and cafes

Material damage

46.7% 37.6%


interruption Contents Loss of rent 26.3% 31.4%

8.6% 14.0%

2.3% 3.7%

Fires in premises occupied by providers of food and drink cost on average £1,463 m2 cafes cost on average £1,331 m2

considered emergency plan in place to transfer the operations to an alternative local venue, and to maintain lists of clients and suppliers securely at an offsite location. Having identified kitchens as the most hazardous

areas in restaurants and cafes, consideration should be given to hoods and ducts over cookers and deep fat fryers. In the December 2017/January 2018 edition of F&RM, the FPA’s principal consultant Howard Passey noted that ‘fire spreading into and through kitchen extract ductwork continues to be a significant concern to property owners, occupiers and insurers’. Such systems are considered to be a high fire risk element, particularly when serving commercial catering environments, and the scope and scale of damage is often disproportionate to the size of the establishment. This remains true, and advice is provided

in RISCAuthority Recommendations RC44: Recommendations for fire risk assessment of catering extract ventilation, with further advice and an update to this document currently being prepared for publication. Due to the severity of fires in ductwork, a third

party certification scheme for kitchen extract ductwork cleaning has been introduced through the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB), with the publication of LPS 2084: Requirements for the LPCB approval and listing of companies carrying out inspection, cleaning and maintenance of ductwork systems.

Machine and plant

8.6% 6.8%

Stock Other 4.8% 1.2%

2.7% 5.2%

; whereas those in restaurants and

A number of specific requirements for the inspection and cleaning of kitchen extract ductwork are included in this standard, the aim of which is to improve the standard of cleaning procedures, especially by ensuring that ducts and extract systems can be properly accessed and remedies provided for areas of restricted access. Additional guidance is available in RISCAuthority Recommendations RC16B: Recommendations for fire safety in commercial kitchens. Although infrequently encountered, one potential

source of ignition has now been minimised, as the use of blowlamps for theatrical flambé presentations in restaurants is now generally frowned upon. Many establishments are restricting the use of blowlamps for any purpose to kitchen areas where they can be properly controlled. Another item of good news is that the installation

of fixed fire suppression systems to protect hobs, ovens, grilles and deep fat fryers is now well established, and kitchen staff are familiarised with the systems and how they operate at the times of their periodic fire safety awareness training. This is a good step forward in recent years, without which it is highly likely that the losses set out here could have been significantly higher. The introduction of the new BAFE SP206 scheme

for third party certification assessment of these installations should ensure that the systems become even more effective and widely used

Adair Lewis is technical consultant at the Fire Protection Association

These statistics are based on information supplied by loss adjusters to the FPA on a voluntary basis and not all insurers conducting business in the UK contribute to this dataset. They represent only sums paid out where the total loss is in excess of £100k and are deficient of losses under £100K, deductibles, underinsurance, uninsured, self-insured and captively insured components, which may be significant. In a year, total losses captured typically account for 50% of the ABI declared annual fire loss figure – which is similarly deficient of the same components (except the £100k threshold). DECEMBER 2018/JANUARY 2019 53


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