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Posted on March 26, 2013

Kitchen Fire Suppression Systems 101

Commercial kitchen fire suppression systems are critical to keeping your restaurant or food prep facility safe from fires. NFPA codes 96 and 17 lay out the requirements for kitchen fire suppression system maintenance. In between professional kitchen inspections, there are a couple of things you should pay special attention to:

1. Fuel Source Shutoff and Valves

According to the latest edition of NFPA-96 and NFPA-17/17A, all commercial kitchens must have an electrical or mechanical valve that automatically cuts power to any sources of electricity and/or gas once the kitchen fire suppression system is activated. Electricity and grease are the most common causes of fires in commercial kitchens, so this is critical to keeping a fire under control.

Shutoff valves allow the hood system to extinguish flames by keeping potential fuel sources at bay. If your shutoff valve isn’t installed properly and working right, your kitchen may be at serious risk of a devastating fire.

2. Nozzles and Caps

Caps are installed on the nozzles of your kitchen fire suppression system to prevent grease from building up and clogging the nozzles, blocking the flow of the extinguishing agent. During a routine inspection, your fire protection technician will remove the caps to make sure piping is clear of grease or other buildup, as well as check to make sure the nozzles and caps are in good shape and replace any that are missing. Finally, your technician will make sure your nozzles are aimed properly to extinguish a fire, if necessary.

If you have grease or other debris blocking your piping, the system will not be able to respond properly in the event of a fire. If the piping is clear but the nozzles are facing the wrong way, it won’t do you any good either.

3. Ductwork

During an inspection, your fire protection technician will check your hood exhaust system’s ductwork for any holes. Exhaust fans are designed to move air outside of your facility, and function to lead a fire outside your building as well, where it wouldn’t have fuel to continue burning.

Holes in your ductwork will just lead the fire into other areas of your facility, potentially leaving you with more than just a kitchen fire!

4. Detector Links

Detector links are designed to sense changes in the levels of heat in the immediate atmosphere. When a certain temperature is reached, the link burns up, which allows the kitchen fire suppression system’s extinguishing agent to be released. Your fire protection technician will make sure all heat detector links are in the correct locations..

These links are critical. If they don’t work, having every other inspection item checked off won’t help. Your system won’t activate. All links should be replaced every six months.

If you run a busy restaurant or commercial kitchen in Houston, TX and need commercial kitchen fire suppression system inspection or testing, call Kauffman Co. today!

We provide estimates for new and replacement fire protection systems throughout Texas (TX) in:

  • Alvin
  • Angleton
  • Austin
  • Baytown
  • Beaumont
  • Bellaire
  • Clute
  • Conroe
  • Deer Park
  • Dickinson
  • Freeport
  • Friendswood
  • Galena Park
  • Galveston
  • Houston
  • Humble
  • Huntsville
  • Jacinto City
  • Katy
  • La Marque
  • La Porte
  • Lake Charles, LA
  • Lake Jackson
  • League City
  • Missouri City
  • Orange
  • Pasadena
  • Pearland
  • Port Arthur
  • Richmond
  • Rosenberg
  • San Antonio
  • Schulenburg
  • South Houston
  • Stafford
  • Sugar Land
  • Texas City
  • The Woodlands
  • Victoria
  • Waco
For more information, contact us online or call us now at (713) 893-1090.
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