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Kitchen Fire Systems

Kitchen Fire Systems

On Site Fire Protection Services provides semi-annual inspections to the Restaurant industry for their Fire Suppressions Systems.  Our Flat Rate approach to these inspection and service calls allows owners and managers to better anticipate the cost of service and budget accordingly.

Fixed kitchen suppression systems for industrial and commercial cooking operations have played a strong roll in the protection of life and property in today’s food preparation operations across the world. Over several generations of kitchen suppression systems changes have been made to the way the systems are designed to match the hazards these cooking operations pose. Originally kitchen suppression systems were stocked with a dry chemical powder extinguishing agent, something similar to what you would find inside a regular dry chemical fire extinguisher. This was semi-effective at the time when animal fats and lards were the main cooking medium in deep frying operations. NFPA 17 is the National Fire Protection Associations standard for Pre-Engineered Dry Chemical Suppression Systems. Though still applicable to existing systems, this standard is rarely used in today’s cooking industry for several reasons.

Today’s commercial and industrial deep fryers are designed with a higher degree of engineering than in past decades. They are very well insulated and designed to maintain higher temperatures with less energy. The cooking medium in deep fryers has changed as well from lard or animal fat to healthier oils. These oils get much hotter than previous mediums during cooking operations and in the event of a fire they burn much hotter and are more difficult to extinguish. The high efficiency design of the fryers means that the oil retains more heat after being extinguished and has a greater chance of re-ignition.

The re-ignition factor was the main reason for the change in the industry from dry chemical kitchen suppression systems to wet chemical kitchen suppression systems. Also, the dry chemical kitchen suppression systems often caused injury to employees working in the kitchen because when the system discharged over top of a deep fryer the flaming medium would be spread across the kitchen violently.

These reasons all led to the development of wet chemical kitchen suppression systems. NFPA 17A is the National Fire Protections Associations standard for pre-engineered wet chemical kitchen suppression systems. This standard is commonly referred to as “the code” for fixed restaurant wet chemical kitchen suppression systems. It contains the rules and regulations regarding the installations and maintenance of kitchen suppression systems.

The other code that is commonly referred to in the kitchen suppression system industry is the UL-300. This is a document that was produced by Underwriter Laboratories to standardize the design and testing procedures for all wet chemical kitchen suppression systems. Until the UL-300 document was present in the kitchen suppression system industry each manufacturer had the leave to test their suppression systems in house to their own standards. This left large gap’s between what was sufficient protection according to the manufacturer, and what was effective suppression in the field. The UL-300 standardized the required testing procedures for all wet chemical kitchen suppression systems and all manufacturers. The UL-300 is an American document and its Canadian counterpart is ULC/ORD-C1254.6-1955 (ORD meaning Other Recognized Document). This documents effective date in Canada was July 1, 1995.

Here are a few things you should know about commercial and industrial Pre-engineered fixed Kitchen Suppression Systems:

  • The Alberta Fire Code as well as most manufacturers require that pre-engineered restaurant fire suppression systems in commercial and industrial applications be maintained by technician with training that is deemed acceptable to the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) on a semi-annual basis.
  • This is usually the responsibility of the tenant occupying a space but in some cases may be the responsibility of the building owner.
  • Most kitchen suppression systems have a mechanical means for activation upon the detection of a fire under the hood. Usually this is done with fusible links that run along a cable inside the plenum(the space under the hood that is hidden by the filter bank). These fusible links must be replaced at intervals of no greater than 12 months.
  • Once a year every kitchen suppression system must have its functionality tested both by operation of the manual release station and by the simulation of a fusible link separation.
  • Every kitchen suppression system must be supplemented with a wet chemical K-Class fire extinguisher to be compliant with the applicable codes. This extinguisher will require hydrostatic testing every 5 years to remain certifiable.
  • All Kitchen Suppression Systems are required to kill any ignition sources under the hood upon activation.
  • All Kitchen Suppression Systems must be connected to and activate the buildings Fire Alarm System (if present).
  • All Kitchen Suppression Systems must disengage the Air Makeup Unit that is present in order to prevent drawing fresh air and oxygen towards the hazard.

Contact

On Site Fire Protection Services Ltd.
Phone: (780)490-5254
Fax: (780)490-5294
contact@onsitefirepro.ca
6307 Wagner Road NW
Edmonton, AB
T6E 4N4
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