• restaurant grill on fire

What Restaurants Need to Know About Fire Insurance Coverage

Perfectly grilled steaks, delicious deep-fried donuts, or savory smoked ribs – no matter what your restaurant is known for, many kitchen actions come with a side of risk. Almost 10,000 restaurants per year experience fires, and many of those fires are started by cooking activities.

Fire damage is one of the most expensive disasters that restaurant owners may face, with an average loss of $35,000. Fires can leave behind a big mess and even bigger expenses that you should not have to face alone. Thankfully, there are expert partners that can help. Here is what you need to know to protect your customers, team, and business.

Fire Prevention and Suppression Systems For Restaurants

Preventing fires before they start is critical. All Chicago-area restaurants should follow state and local fire prevention regulations, including having the right safety equipment. If you have questions, your local fire marshall and health department are great resources. We are not experts in this area, but here are a few best practices:

  • Follow all recommended equipment maintenance procedures 
  • Remove grease buildup, including getting regularly scheduled professional help
  • Keep your exhaust system clean, and clean or change all filters as need
  • Take out your trash frequently
  • Place your dumpster in a safe area away from your building
  • Train your team on critical tasks like disposing of flammable materials, fire extinguisher use, and fire drill procedures. 

Additionally, commercial kitchens and restaurants that use equipment like deep fat fryers or open grilling systems may be required to install a fire suppression system. There are several types of fire suppression systems available for Illinois restaurant owners to consider. Here are two of the most common. 

  • Automatic Fire Suppression Systems: Extinguishes and controls fires automatically, using tools like fire sprinkler systems, gaseous fire suppression, and condensed aerosol.

Wet Chemical Systems: Extinguishes fires caused by cooking oils using a process known as saponification. Wet chemical systems can protect important ventilating equipment including hoods, ducts, and filters.

Types of Insurance That Will Help Your Restaurant Recover from a Fire

Even with the right training, processes, and equipment, your restaurant could still be faced with a scary, messy, damaging fire. To protect everyone involved, you need to be prepared with the right insurance coverage. Here are three of the major types of insurance that you may need to cover fire-related expenses. 

Business or commercial property insurance can cover the physical building and everything inside, including personal property like appliances, equipment, products, and furniture.

Liability insurance provides coverage if your business is at fault for injuries to others and damage to their property.

Business interruption or additional business expense insurance can pay for your lost revenues, relocation costs, and other expenses if your restaurant has to close for a covered claim. 

What if you need several of these options? You can usually work with your insurance agent to combine them in a comprehensive business owner’s insurance policy. Taking the time to discuss details with your insurance agent will make sure that you have everything you need for your specific situation.

Get Professional Help And Quickly Restore Your Fire Damaged Restaurant

If you do experience a fire, the safety of your customers and team is the first priority. After the initial emergency is over, there are two steps you must take right away to ensure that your restaurant can get back to normal as soon as possible. 

Step One: Contact your insurance agent. They will explain how to prepare for the next steps in the insurance claims process, and can give you details on what your insurance policy will cover, including fire damage restoration and reconstruction services.

Step Two: Contact a trusted, local fire damage restoration contractor. McMahon Services has crews available 24/7 to dispatch to your Northern Illinois restaurant for fire and smoke damage cleanup, emergency board-up services, and even reconstruction, remodeling, roofing, and siding services. Many insurance carriers recommend us as a Preferred Contractor due to our expertise and high quality work. 

Mold, smoke, and soot residue are dangerous, and difficult to safely remove. Plus, firefighters and fire suppression systems can leave additional damage behind. With our professional expertise, we can often restore even porous products such as drywall, carpet, wood, furniture, and textiles. A fast response and expert knowledge will save you both time and money in restoring your restaurant building and furnishings after a fire. 

Since our start in Mundelein in 1954, we have been the trusted fire damage restoration contractors for business and commercial property owners in Arlington Heights, Berwyn, Des Plaines, Evanston, Mount Prospect, Grayslake, Libertyville, Oak Park, Palatine, Wheaton, Naperville, Waukegan, Schaumburg, Skokie, and the surrounding Illinois areas. Call us today to learn how we can partner with you and your insurance company. We are ready to help you through the claims process to repair your restaurant.