Here at Food Grease Trappers, when we’re talking about security, we’re usually referring to securing your waste vegetable oil from theft. However, today we’re talking about securing your grease trap if you have a below-ground model located outside the restaurant. While the purpose of this security is to also prevent people from gaining access, you’re doing it for the safety of others than as a deterrent from theft. You may not always keep up with grease trap news, but we do. And recently making headlines again is another child falling into an unsecured grease trap, and this needs to stop.
Trouble Out of Tulsa with Grease Traps
At the end of March, a five-year-old girl had a shock when she fell into an unsecured grease trap on her way into a Tulsa Hills restaurant. Thankfully her father, who was in front of her at the time, had acted quickly to save her, flipping back the lid and pulling his daughter to safety (she was unhurt, if shaken). What’s really surprising is that this wasn’t the fault of a restaurant that didn’t understand grease traps (it was a Panera Bread), but instead their grease service company: a multi-state company whose local service members forgot to secure the lid after servicing.
An Important Safety Measure
And while that story ended with all parties unhurt, back in October, not everyone was as lucky. As we reported in the fall, a three-year-old fell down a grease trap in the Alabamian town of Huntsville. Unlike with the Tulsa child, she was not discovered until 10 minutes later and was taken to a local hospital where she was unable to be revived. While these are rare accidents, they are also completely preventable. As a restaurant owner, learn how you can make sure your exterior grease traps are safe for your customers.
Grease Trap Safety Measures You Can Take
Before you start this process, we recommend bringing in a food grease servicing company. This can be the one you currently work with or a new company. Have them consult with you on possible issues and solutions like those below:
- Checking After Service: The Tulsa incident falls firmly on the shoulders of the service company, they admitted to not securing the lid. As such, check the grease trap after servicing to make sure the trap is secure.
- Securing the Drop: Most necks of grease traps are a bit smaller than that of a manhole, making it difficult for an adult to fit through, but easy for a child. Talk to your service company about possible solutions to block entrance without obstructing servicing.
- Replacing the Lid: One thing both of the incidents had in common were issues with the lids of the grease traps. Make sure your trap’s lid is easy to secure, but that it does secure.
- Replacing the Grease Trap: Depending on the age and condition of your grease trap, you can also look at replacing it with a safer unit.
Looking for a consultation for your grease trap? Food Grease Trappers are experts in the field of grease trap maintenance and waste vegetable oil (WVO) collections for the foodservice industry, and we have been doing so for over 20 years. If you need assistance with your grease trap in New England, make sure to contact us.