suppression

12-year Hydrostatic Test for Kitchen Suppression Systems

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.

A1 is a leading expert on the latest technology in life safety. To find out more information or to ask a question, click here or call us at 1-800-859-6198.

Joseph Reynolds
Joseph Reynolds

What is Stat-X?

Stat-X fire suppression systems are an extremely effective method for protecting your valuable assets from fire. Due to their fast response time, compact size, low fire extinguishing concentration, and environmental safety, Stat-X fire suppression systems may be used in critical applications across a wide range of industries — especially in areas where weight and space savings are important.

Benefits of Stat-X Systems

Stat-X uses an aerosol suppression agent disbursed directly from the Stat-X generators; this means there is no piping to run and maintain. In addition, the generators are designed to be mounted onto walls at ceiling height, saving valuable floor space in your facility.

Your Life Safety Partner must be trained, certified and authorized to design and install a Stat-X system. Installation design includes data on dimensions, areas of leakage and location of uncloseable openings, and fire class among other factors.

Maintenance & Inspections of Stat-X Systems

Inspections are an important, and required, part of any Life Safety system. You should have your Stat-X systems inspected twice a year. Your Life Safety Partner will examine the generators and protected space to ensure that the generators and mounting brackets, straps, and associated hardware have not been damaged.

It is also important that the system installation and space remain in the same configuration as that originally designed, so that the Stat-X generator can function properly and distribute the aerosol efficiently in the event of a fire. If the generators have been bumped by maintenance or other workers, they will be re-aligned to the correct position for effective discharge. In addition, your Inspector will check the protected space to ensure access to the hazard areas, lines of egress, and manual pull stations are unobstructed.Stat-X fire suppression

Electrically activated systems will have the detection and control system, including all ancillary devices, at the same time your generators are inspected. All Stat-X generators have been UL approved for a service life of 10 years.

Overall, Stat-X systems are extremely cost-effective due to the small amount of agent required to suppress a fire, and reduced installation costs from traditional systems. Ask your Life Safety Partner about using Stat-X in your facility’s data room or on other high value equipment.

To learn about the differences between Stat-X and Clean Agent Systems, you can read a comparison in A1’s blog on Server Room Fire Protection Options.

A1 is a leading expert on the latest technology in life safety. To find out more information or to ask a question, click here or call us at 1-800-859-6198.

Jack Menke
Jack Menke

Weekly and Monthly Testing of Electric Fire Pumps

In accordance with 2014 NFPA 25: Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, electric fire pumps must go through not only an annual flow test, but also a monthly churn test (sometimes called a no-flow test or an operating test).

However, for the 2014 Edition of the standard, the technical committee of the NFPA determined that certain fire pumps must be tested more frequently, based on risks associated with the building or arrangement of the pump. Electric-driven pumps in high-rise buildings, electric-driven vertical turbine pumps, and pumps using limited service controllers must undergo weekly operating tests.

The standard procedure for a monthly or weekly test on an electric fire pump is as follows:

INSPECTION:

Before any testing, follow the attached checklist to ensure the conditions are correct and the pump is ready to be tested.

TESTING:

  1. Use a fire pump churn test log to verify steps completed (attached).
  2. Notify your alarm company and facility representatives of the pending churn test.
  3. Review the fire pump assembly nameplates, noting the voltage rating, rated speed, and churn pressure for the unit.
  4. Record the suction and discharge pressures. Record the current pressure reading as well as the highest and lowest pressures indicated on the fire pump controller event log. If these values are outside of the expected range, a record of the entire event log must be made and further investigation must be conducted, with corrective action being taken.
  5. Check the area surrounding the relief valve or cooling water discharge outlets to ensure there are no apparent conditions that would stop water from being discharged safely or cause direct damage to the area. If the discharge area is subject to potential freezing conditions, the facility representative should be advised.
  6. To limit the exposure of the connected systems to the surge or pressure during the start-up of the pump, consider closing discharge control valve prior to conducting the test.
  7. Simulate an automatic start for the fire pump by creating a pressure drop in the sensing line to the fire pump controller. This can be accomplished by slowly opening the drain valve on the sensing line located near the fire pump controller until the fire pump starts automatically. Do not use the “start” button when simulating an automatic start. Note the start time of the fire pump to measure the run time and record the starting pressure.

For pressure-actuated fire pump controllers that use an automatic timer, an automatic opening of a solenoid valve in the sensing line to the controller might be used to simulate the automatic start of the fire pump. These systems must include a record of the pressure drop on the pressure recorder for the controller.

  1. Check the operating speed of the motor and note the time needed to reach the rated (should be within 20 seconds). The measurement can be taken with a handheld tachometer. Note that the use of a strobe-type handheld tachometer requires advance preparation prior to the test for proper measurement, including the application of a reflective tape on the shaft and/or removal of protective covers that shield the rotating shaft.
  2. For reduced-current start or reduced voltage start fire pump controllers, record the time the controller remains in first step voltage. The transition is characterized by a distinct change in the sound of the motor rotation as the controller voltage goes to full output. This transition should not take longer 10 seconds.
  3. Check the fire pump packing gland for a slow drip of water, adjusting the packing gland nuts as needed to achieve about 1 drip/second. For safety, the adjustment should be made when the pump is not running. Exercise care to ensure the glands are not tightened to the point of breaking.
  4. Monitor the fire pump operation for any unusual vibration, noise, or other sign of malfunction.
  5. Verify that the operation of the circulation (casing) relief valve has a steady stream of, as this will ensure the pump case is properly cooled.
  6. If the fire pump is equipped with a main pressure relief valve, verify the operation of the valve such that outlet pressures don’t exceed the pressure rating of the piping downstream of the fire pump. Usually, this rating is 175 psi (12.1 bar), although some systems are designed for higher pressures.
  7. Record the suction and discharge pressures. For vertical turbine pumps, only the discharge pressure is recorded.
  8. Record the pressure at the fire pump controller pressure switch and compare it with the discharge pressure recorded above.
  9. Check the packing gland box, shift bearings, and pump casing for overheating about every five minutes during testing. The packing gland box and shaft bearings may be warm to the touch, but the pump casing should remain cool.
  10. Allow the fire pump to continue operating for 10 minutes, checking for overheating periodically. Shut down manually after 10 minutes have elapsed. Some fire pump controllers might include automatic run timers that shut down the pump after a specific amount of time. For these controllers, check the run time for the fire pump to ensure the required 10 minutes has passed.
  11. Reopen the fire pump discharge control valve (if closed) and conduct a valve test downstream of the closed valve.
  12. Restore the fire pump to automatic operating position.
  13. After completing all testing, notify the fire department and/or alarm monitoring company and the facility representative that testing is complete. Reset fire alarm system as necessary. A state certified professional should also be called to correct the deficiency.

Click the link below to download a printable fire pump testing checklist.

Weekly Fire Pump Inspection Checklist

A1 is a leading expert on the latest technology in life safety. To find out more information or to ask a question, click here or call us at 1-800-859-6198.

Mike Rossman
Mike Rossman

 

Kitchen Hood Systems Simplified

Cooking is the leading cause of death and destruction from fires in the U.S. Cooking fires account for $16.4 million in property damage annually. Additionally, cooking was the leading cause of fire in all healthcare facilities (nursing home, hospital, mental health facility, clinic or doctors office) according to NFPA US Structure Fires in Health Care Properties Fact Sheet (download it here). Keeping up with your required kitchen hood system inspections is an important part of protecting lives and your facility.

Kitchen hood suppression systems are designed, tested, and approved to provide fire protection for commercial kitchen cooking appliances, hoods, and ducts.

Kitchen hood systems have an efficient, automatic detector response that acts fast to suppress flames. Kitchen hood systems eliminate the need for a constant supply of the suppressing agent and manual shut off of the appliance’s gas and electric, while blocking any danger of a violent reaction that may spread flame or spill cooking oil.

Facilities that should have kitchen hood systems:

  • Gourmet Restaurants
  • Sports Complexes
  • Fast-Food Chains
  • Retail Food Courts
  • Convenience Stores
  • Hotel Kitchens
  • Diners
  • School Cafeterias
  • Food Service Kitchens

Kitchen hood systems will extinguish fires caused by the following:

  • Deep Fryers
  • Ranges
  • Griddles
  • Char-Broilers
  • Woks
  • Upright Boilers
  • Chain-Broilers
  • Filters
  • Plenum Chambers
  • Hoods
  • Ducts

How Do Kitchen Hood Systems Work?

When a fire starts in a protected area, heat sensitive links activate the kitchen hood system. The system stops the cooking appliance’s gas and electric supply. An extinguishing agent releases through nozzles and onto the appliances, plenum and duct.

At the first sign of fire, remember to evacuate the building and call 911. Stand by with a K class extinguisher just in case the system fails to act or a re-flash occurs.

Types of Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems

Wet Chemical Systems

Wet chemical systems are the most commonly used kitchen hood system. The wet chemical agent suppresses fire by cooling and reacting chemically to produce a foam layer on the grease. The foam seals combustible vapors, stopping the flames from re-igniting.

Dry Chemical Systems

Dry chemical systems were used to extinguish flammable liquid fires involving live electrical equipment. Dry chemical interrupts the chemical reaction of fire by removing the oxygen from the source. When the multipurpose dry chemical is discharged, the agent leaves a residue on the burning material. The residue seals the material from the oxygen to suffocate the fire. Unfortunately, because deep fryers are much more insulated than in the past, dry chemical systems are not capable of extinguishing kitchen fires. UL 300 Systems are recommended as a good replacement for dry chemical kitchen hood systems.

UL 300 Wet System

UL 300 systems use wet chemicals to smother the fire (like dry chems) and to prevent re-ignition by cooling the flammable liquids (unlike dry chems). The UL 300 standard represents the heightened suppression innovation to accommodate new, hotter cooking methods and is currently the most effective way to suppress a kitchen hood fire. If you are due to change your kitchen hood system soon, most states will require you to update to a UL 300 system.

Living and Caring for Your Restaurant Fire Suppression System

Have a certified kitchen hood system professional inspect your kitchen hood system every 6-months and immediately after any major hood/duct cleaning. The system should be inspected overall and tested to verify that it is fully operational. Keep in mind that menu, preparation, and layout may require an update to your system. Any updates, again, require a professional.

While a professional should service, test, inspect, recharge or repair a system, NFPA asks system owners to perform a monthly inspection. This inspection is for visible problems with the kitchen hood system.

Check the following during your monthly visual inspection:

  • The extinguishing system is in its proper location.
  • The manual actuators are unobstructed.
  • The tamper indicators and seals are intact.
  • The maintenance tag or certificate is in place.
  • No obvious physical damage or condition exists that might prevent operation.
  • The pressure gauge(s), if provided, is in operable range.
  • The nozzle blow-off caps are intact and undamaged.
  • The hood, duct, and protected cooking appliances have not been replaced, modified, or relocated.

Supplement Your Kitchen Hood System

K-Class fire extinguishers are used to protect against kitchen hazards without leaving residue. These extinguishers are a great supplement to kitchen hood systems and should be present in any commercial cooking environment.

A1 is a leading expert on the latest technology in life safety. To find out more information or to ask a question, click here or call us at 1-800-859-6198.

Will Buchholz