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Kitchen Fire Suppression Systems

One of the most common places for a fire to occur is in the kitchen. Every restaurant and commercial and institutional kitchen facility must have an appropriate automatic fire detection and suppression system installed and properly maintained. The system is required for hoods, plenums, ducts, and associated cooking appliances. A variety of national, state, and local codes applies, depending on the type of facility, occupancy, and hazard classification.
The following National Fire Protection Association publication serves as the basis for detailing minimum requirements:
  • NFPA 17A - Standard for Wet Chemical Extinguishing Systems
  • NFPA 17 - Standard for Dry Chemical Extinguishing Systems
  • NFPA 96 - Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations
  • UL300 - Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishing Systems for Protection of Restaurant Cooking Areas
The five basic requirements for compliance are:
  1. Providing an Appropriate System
  2. Monthly Inspections
  3. Semiannual Maintenance
  4. Recordkeeping
  5. Training and Education

Providing an Appropriate System

Secure Fire & Safety will assist in analyzing the hazards within a kitchen and designing and installing the right suppression system. This includes the selection of appropriate fire extinguishers to meet the specific needs of a kitchen. All kitchens are required to have a wet chemical fire extinguisher in the cooking area. This is the best extinguisher for fighting grease fires.

Monthly Inspections

A facility owner is required to have the suppression system visually inspected monthly to give reasonable assurance that it is fully charged and operable.

Semiannual Maintenance

All systems are required to be maintained semiannually in accordance with NFPA codes and manufacturers' standards. Major areas of maintenance include:
  • Checking to see that a hazard has not changed or been altered in a manner that would negatively affect its performance.
  • Cylinder pressure in an operable range.
  • Cylinders and cartridges weighed, as required.
  • Nozzles cleaned, with caps in place and operational.
  • All fusible links replaced.
  • Fuel shutoff tested to verify that all gas and electric appliances under hood can shut down.
  • Link cable adjusted for proper tension.
  • Remote manual release tested.
  • At additional prescribed intervals, all wet and dry chemical containers, auxiliary pressure containers, and hose assemblies must be hydrostatically tested.

Recordkeeping

Current and accurate records must be kept relating to all inspection and maintenance activity. Secure Fire & Safety will ensure that all equipment carries proper documentation upon completion of any work.

Training & Education

While kitchen systems are automatic, it is important that all employees have fire safety training in case of an emergency. Secure Fire & Safety will develop and administer a customized training program for your employees that will meet OSHA requirements.