Kitchen suppression systems are designed, tested, and approved to provide fire protection for commercial kitchen cooking appliances, hoods, and ducts. The suppression systems consist of an agent storage tank, manual release station, an automatic releasing mechanism, and supply piping that directs the agent to nozzles strategically positioned at heat sources in the kitchen.
NFPA 17 requires that every 12 years the agent-holding tank, whether it is a pressurized or non-pressurized system tank, must be pulled out of service to be tested.
For all systems, the agent storage tank must be pressure tested to ensure the integrity of the cylinder. There are many types and manufactures of kitchen commercial wet chemical systems, each one has different test pressures for the cylinder, which are set by the manufacturer. Once filled with water, and sometimes oil, the cylinder is capped off, then pressurized to the manufacture test pressure and held at that pressure for no less than 1 minute. These systems are often tested to almost two times the service pressure.
On a non-pressurized system, there is a cartridge that pushes the agent out of the cylinder. This cartridge is replaced every 12 years. In some instances, these systems can have a burst disc that would need to be replaced before the 12-year hydrostatic test is scheduled.
Pressurized systems have valve stems, O-rings, and pins that need to be replaced. This is called a rebuild kit.
Once all of the cylinders are tested, dried, and documented they get filled back up with the proper wet chemical agent and put back into service if there is not any issues with the test pressures. All systems, both pressurized and non-pressurized, get new agent during a 12-year hydrostatic test. For certain suppression systems, hoses will need to be replaced at the 12-year hydrostatic test.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than half of the 8,160 structure fires involving commercial cooking equipment or ventilation components that occur annually begin in kitchens or cooking areas. Between 2004 and 2008, these cooking fires caused three deaths, 100 injuries, and $229 million in director property damage each year.
A kitchen hood is important fire protection at it eliminates air contaminants and toxic chemicals from the air, which are released when cooking. The filters in the kitchen hood capture grease and debris in these fumes and prevents them from entering your exhaust system.
Kitchen hood grease filters are an important fire prevention device. With grease or debris in your exhaust ducts, a fire could occur within the hood system. Duct fires can be intense, difficult to extinguish, and are susceptible to re-ignition.
No cook likes to clean the grease filters, however, regular cleaning of your grease filters is critical to maintaining proper function. Let your kitchen staff focus on their real job functions and remove this risk of worker compensation claims by collaborating with a knowledgeable partner to clean your filters. Having your Life Safety Partner perform this service will save you money while also keeping your employees safe, and your kitchen in compliance.
A filter exchange program can be a real benefit to any food service company or restaurant. At the intervals required for your kitchen, based on cooking methods, appliances, and volume of operation, your filters will be scheduled for automatic replacement.
Not only are the dirty filters removed and replaced with clean filters, but also the dirty filters are taken off-site to be cleaned. By not cleaning the grease filters at your restaurant you can reduce the amount of grease going down your drain by up to 70%, and the grease will be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. This offsite cleaning will save you money by reducing chemical costs, water usage, and the amount of grease in your traps.
The National Fire Protection Association is a global nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. NFPA is widely known for its codes and standards which establish criteria for building, processing, design, service, and installation of fire protection systems. Several NFPA codes are being updated for 2017, here we will discuss some of the changes to NFPA 96, which covers Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations.
Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers Not Permitted
10.9.4 was added to state carbon dioxide extinguishers are not permitted for use in Commercial Cooking Kitchens. Class K extinguishers are the recommended extinguisher for kitchen use.
Class K Extinguisher Placard
For each Class K Extinguisher in your kitchen, you need a placard conspicuously placed with each that states the extinguishing system be activated prior to using the extinguisher.
10.5 states that all systems are required to have both automatic and manual methods of actuation, and at least be located in a means of egress or placement acceptable to AHJ, and clearly identify the hazard protected. Sprinkler systems don’t require manual actuation.
Training for Extinguishers and System Manual Actuation
It is now required for managers to provide and document instruction on extinguishers and manual actuation for new employees at hiring, and to all employees annually. Records for training must be maintained and made available to the AHJ. In addition, instructions for use must be posted conspicuously.
Emptying of Grease Cans
11.6.16 was added to require that grease cans be inspected or emptied once every week.
Contact your Life Safety Partner for help updating your kitchen suppression system to comply with all 2017 code updates. This information is based on first and second draft revisions to the NFPA code for 2017. A1 strives to ensure the information we provide in our blogs is accurate, the information we provide is based on research and our understanding of State Fire Codes and NFPA regulations. You should always review the complete NFPA standards and local codes for where you are, as local and state requirements may differ.