As a Loss Control Representative, I have had many conversations with customers, agents, and friends about the most common hazards that I see on a daily basis. Through a discussion with others in the Loss Control Department, I've come up with a list of the top 5 most common recommendations, in no particular order, made by ICC:
1. SERVICE FIRE SUPPRESSION, HOOD & DUCTS, AND FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
At every inspection, with the exception of a liquor liability only inspection, the Loss Control Representative checks the service tags of the fire suppression system, hood and ducts, and fire extinguishers. In most cases, the fire suppression and hood and ducts should be serviced twice a year and fire extinguishers annually.
2. FRYER BAFFLE
During the inspection of the cooking line, we make note of all cooking equipment and where they are located (most importantly, the fryer). If the fryer is next to a piece of equipment that has an open flame, such as a range or grill, we make a recommendation to install an 8-inch baffle. This is simply an 8-inch metal barrier placed between the two pieces of equipment that prevents grease (from the fryer basket) from coming into contact with the open flame.
3. GREASY RAG STORAGE
A pile of greasy towels or rags can spontaneously combust if left in a linen bag or open container, such as a laundry basket. To prevent these types of losses, we recommend obtaining a metal container with a metal lid. This can be something as simple as an inexpensive metal trash can with lid.
To prevent trips and falls, a set of stairs with three or more steps requires a handrail.
5. EXTENSION CORD AND GANG PLUGS
Another common recommendation is to reduce or eliminate the use of extension cords and gang plugs. Extension cords are designed to be used temporarily and not as a permanent outlet. Power strips and surge protectors may allow someone to plug in multiple electronic devices; however, it will not prevent the electric outlet from overloading, which can cause a fire. In most cases, spreading out the devices to other outlets will work, but in some cases, a new outlet should be installed.
You can learn more about insuring your restaurant or tavern with ICC by contacting an ICC agent. The Find an Agent search on our homepage will help you find an ICC agent in your area.