LOS ANGELES AND PLACENTIA, CALIFORNIA - Damage from a costly fire in a Eureka, California restaurant Dec. 26 might have been less, had a fire suppression system been in place, according to a Los Angeles fire protection company.
Fire broke out at the Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant and damaged the first floor, according to a Times-Standard article. Smoke damaged the second and third floors, which were either empty or used for storage.
Damages were estimated at $100,000 in lost contents and $150,000 in structural damage, the article stated. Representatives from the Eureka Fire Department said the fire could have been extinguished, had an automatic fire sprinkler system been installed.
“This restaurant owner likely would be facing but a small portion of the damage they are dealing with now, had they been proactive and installed a fire suppression system,” said Massoud Farazandeh, who serves as general manager of Nationwide Fire Protection Corp., a Los Angeles fire sprinkler system installer. NFP is an affiliate of American Professional Services (APS-Hoods) and opened a fabrication facility in Placentia in 2009 to better meet the demand for fire sprinkler system jobs through California. “Instead, the owners now likely face a few months of repairs before they can reopen.”
Fire suppression systems in restaurants are designed to quickly identify and extinguish a fire, Farazandeh said. They are credited with saving millions of dollars in damages to restaurants every year.
“It’s a shame to see restaurants in operation today without these valuable systems,” he said. “Unfortunately, some restaurants are grandfathered in and are not required to have them. This probably was one of those situations.”
Farazandeh uses unfortunate incidents such as this recent fire to educate restaurant owners and managers on the importance of having a suppression system in place.
“I often hear from owners that they can’t afford a fire suppression system, or they don’t want to bother with it because they aren’t required to have it,” he said. “My response to them always is, ‘Can you afford to lose your restaurant to a fire?”
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