Even small fires can result in extensive smoke and water damage, not just to your kitchen but also the storage and seating areas of your restaurant. These “Lessons Learned from Commercial Kitchen Fire Investigations” are certainly eye-opening.

According to available residential data, the average cost for home fire and smoke damage repairs was $4,983 in 2015. This estimate only includes water damage, soot removal, furniture and other textiles deodorizing, and repairs to walls surfaces and ducts for a house. This does not include replacement appliances and equipment, all of which are much more expensive for commercial kitchens. On top of the costs of restoration, experts estimate that restoration can take several weeks, at a minimum, and need to be started right away to mitigate corrosion from soot residue.

This means that even for a small fire, your restaurant will likely be closed for a week or more. The amount of time revenue is interrupted increases with the size of the fire, as do the number of things needing to be restored or replaced.

Fires are often accidents, but the extent of the fire and the amount of lost revenue is something you can prepare for. Prevent extensive fire damage with appropriate ventilation systems and mitigate damage in the event of fire by having appropriate fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems installed and regularly inspected.