October is Fire Prevention Month! While fire prevention is certainly a concern for just about everyone, it is especially important to people and businesses whose specific jobs and companies exist for the purpose of fire prevention. Hood and duct cleaning companies, and their teams, are in the brotherhood of life and property protectors. The best thing this industry can do to prevent fires is educating the public and raising awareness about the purpose of hood cleaning companies. Education is the best method to help others understand the importance of fire prevention in restaurants, commercial kitchens, and other eating establishments.
Fire Prevention Education
First, the owner and crew chiefs of hood cleaning companies should be thoroughly versed in NFPA 96 codes, the reasons behind the codes, and any state or local regulations that apply to the territories they cover. If a hood and duct cleaner doesn’t know what codes their company helps protect or what products are available to bring their restaurant customers into compliance, they are doing a great disservice to their own company income and industry.
This is particularly dangerous to the industry because when you can’t educate your client in fire prevention, it leaves them at risk. If they don’t have the proper products installed or don’t know how often they need their hoods cleaned, this leaves them open to potential disasters, including, but not limited to, fines from the EPA, fire marshals, or other agencies and property damages or loss. While a greasy roof might only cost a lot of money in terms of repair, a fire can devastate the building and result in injuries or death. Ignorance is NOT bliss in the hood and duct cleaning industry! Educate yourself so you can educate your customers on codes and options.
Additionally, be sure to get to know your local fire marshals and other AHJs (authorities having jurisdiction). They are involved in all aspects of public safety and building codes, not just fire prevention. A well informed AHJ needs to know codes relating to plumbing, construction, electrical, and any number of other aspects related to public and property safety. That’s a lot of information for them to know! So, help them out with your area of expertise: fire safety and prevention. Help educate them on what to look for when it comes to code violations and potential hazards. When they are educated, the AHJs that inspect restaurants in your territory can be a valuable resource to you. When you cultivate a good relationship with them, they may very well become additional eyes and great allies.
Fire Prevention Awareness
Now that you have educated yourself and your service crews on the NFPA 96 codes, the reasons behind the codes, state or local regulations, and the products available on the market, the next step in the education process is to share your knowledge with your customers and make them aware of what could happen if the necessary steps aren’t taken. A restaurant owner or general manager might very well balk at the cost and/or the need when you tell him or her that a hinge kit is needed on the rooftop exhaust fan.
When you don’t make your customers aware of the risks, they don’t understand the benefits. Making them aware is imperative to their restaurant’s success and safety! Utilize the education you now have and consult them into making the best decision for them and their team. Of course, nobody wants to spend money unnecessarily, but if you make it clear why that hinge kit is beneficial (or access door or grease containment system) they will feel more at ease and trust your consultation. Explain what the benefits are and what outcomes are possible if the proper safety measures aren’t taken.
October may officially be Fire Prevention Month, but in reality, EVERY month is fire prevention month. As hood and duct cleaners, it’s imperative that you do your part by educating yourself and then others about the work you do, safety code requirements, and products on the market. When you educate the people in your influence, you protect more than just a building from the devastation of fire; you’re protecting people’s lives. If you have any questions regarding Omni Containment System’s products, contact us today. We would be happy to educate you on our life-saving equipment.