Protecting your home, business from a fire

Protecting your home, business from a fire

BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - A fast food restaurant in Beaufort reopened after being closed because of a fire.

The McDonald's on Parris Island Gateway had a kitchen fire close the restaurant for almost two weeks. Now fire departments in the area are urging business to follow a few simple rules to prevent fires.

One of the most important tips to preventing a fire is developing a plan for your business that will hopefully protect you, employees and the business itself. It's all about having everyone the same page in case of a fire emergency.

Grease fires are one of the most common causes of a house fire and even more common in businesses with commercial kitchens.

'In the early morning hours when the employees went to work at McDonald's that day, they started up the fryer that we normally see behind the counter, and they experienced a grease fire, the grease fire grew to overwhelm the suppression system and filled the restaurant with smoke and everyone had to evacuate," said Beaufort/Port Royal Fire Department Fire Chief Reece Berthold.

But the department says there are steps you can take to prevent a fire escalating to the point of evacuation.

"Oftentimes, we find that we have many different shifts and many different crews but it's important to have ongoing training especially if there's a high turnover or any turnover at all to make sure everyone knows what to do," said Chief Berthold.

Other tips include having a solid fire safety plan in case of fire that explains what employees are supposed to do, how they're supposed to do it and when they should be doing it.

"We recommend that it is personal safety first, want to evacuate any and everybody from the restaurant, if an employee is comfortable with their training they go for the k-class fire extinguisher and attempt to put it out," said Chief Berthold.

The k-class fire extinguisher works by knocking down the flames first to make way for chemicals that will mix with the grease and create a foamy layer that will put the fire out.

The department says it also very important to make sure you know how to use the extinguishers properly by following the short acronym PASS. Pull the pin, aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, squeeze the handle and sweep the extinguisher from side to side across the fire.

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