Fish and chips have been a popular British food since the nineteenth century.

Traditional fish and chip shops often occupy small premises to fry this popular dish. However, fish and chip frying ranges represent a fire hazard to both life and property.

These hazards result from using large quantities of heated fats, over-heating due to operator error, absence of or faulty thermostats on the equipment, poor cleaning/maintenance and unattended equipment.

Cooking oil and fat fires develop rapidly and create considerable heat and smoke. This makes extinguishment by hand appliances dangerous and difficult in confined or small cooking areas, even if the operators have received appropriate training and have suitable extinguishers. New gas-fired fish and chip ranges should meet the BS 6350 requirement to ensure gas frying ranges safety.

We advise that thorough cleaning, inspection and servicing of all equipment should be conducted to prevent potential hazards. This guidance has been created to recommend safety measures for the maintenance, installation and application of fish and chip frying ranges.

General Safety

Frying ranges should be fitted with overflow gutters and automatic food lowering devices and equipped with grease disposal systems.

Chemical-resistant gloves and safety glasses should be worn while frying ranges.

Sitting and Location

Fish and chip frying ranges should be installed in a fire-resistant compartment; the rooms should have non-combustible walls, floors and ceilings.

Doors leading from the cooking area to other rooms should have at least 30 minutes of fire resistance and be fitted with self-closing components.

Appropriate means of access and clearance should be maintained around the range for cleaning and maintenance purposes.

Equipment

Gas heated ranges should be equipped with a flame failure device to remove the fuel supply in the event of flame failure.

All ranges should have lids or shutters above the cooking pans capable of immediate and safe closure in a fire incident.

Installation

Cooking equipment should be installed following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Where heating is produced by liquefied petroleum gas, the recommendations relating to using liquefied petroleum gas should be adhered to.

Fuel piping and electrical equipment should be sited to have no effects of heat, water vapour and grease.

Extraction System

Ducts should not pass through the fire break walls.

Extract ducts should be short and the design should comply with local bylaws. The duct should directly pass through to the open and not contained within roof spaces where exposed combustible materials are presented.

Filters, traps, or other forms of grease removal should be provided. These should include a residue trap at the base of any vertical riser or incorporated into the extraction unit. They should not be sited where they may be liable to direct hot flue gases or flame collision.

Operating Instructions

Staff should be thoroughly instructed on using the equipment correctly.

Cooking equipment should not be left unattended whilst the heat source is operating.

Extractor fans should be run at all times during frying and for 20 minutes after frying is finished to cool the range.

Maintenance

Grease filters should be cleaned and maintained in accordance with the current best practice.

Appliances should be regularly serviced by qualified personnel in line with the manufacturer’s instructions. The service should include temperature control, checking ducts and burners, connections, controls and cleaning. Particular attention should be given to pressure fryers.

Grease traps should be emptied and filters cleaned frequently, which should not exceed 7 days. Cleaning the internal surfaces of the duct and the extraction motor should not exceed 12 months, this should be done by a specialist contractor.

Fire Protection

Ensure that cooking build-up is removed from extinguishing heads if they are in place.

Ensure that frying ranges are temperature-controlled, and fitted with high-temperature fail-safe shutoffs that can be manually reset.

Ensure that frying range exhaust system filters are changed or cleaned daily.

Insurance

Check your policy terms and conditions thoroughly, there will be specific terms and conditions on your policy, in respect of cleaning, maintenance, operating temperatures, fire prevention and gas safety in particular, these terms will apply not only in respect of any fryer but also for any extraction ductwork.

These terms may vary from the good practice we have provided above.

 

For guidance on a number of risk management subjects along with our comprehensive guide on fish and chip frying ranges, which gives further information on the specification and maintenance of fish and chip frying ranges, subscribe to our newsletter.