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Nationwide Fire Protection FAQ

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How does a fire protection system work in a commercial kitchen?

Kitchen fire protection systems are installed on a variety of appliances like stoves and deep fat fryers. The nozzles for the system are installed in the commercial kitchen hood exhaust. When a fire is detected by the system, a wet chemical solution will be sprayed directly over the fire source. The chemicals that are discharged are specially formulated to quickly put out fires by covering the flames and starving them of the oxygen they need to thrive. As an added safety measure, the fire protection system will shut off the gas line to the appliance, further depriving the fire of fuel. This two-pronged approach to fire protection ensures the fire is extinguished without affecting other cooking stations. This lets your staff get right back to work as soon as the fire is put out.

How do you disarm a fire suppression system in restaurants?

The fire suppression system can be disarmed by opening the control panel and selecting the disable button. Once disabled, the system will shut down for a limited time before it reactivates. In most cases, the time for auto-reactivation is listed on the control panel door. Next, identify if your hood suppression system uses water or fire suppressant chemicals. You should see a label on the system that tells you what kind of system you have installed. If you need more time to look for the label, you might have to disable the system manually to enact an extended shutdown. For water suppression systems, look underneath the kitchen hood until you see the water valve. Turn the
water valve off to fully disable the system. If your system uses fire suppressant liquid, turn off the fuel shutoff valve, which should also be located
underneath the hood. If you cannot find the valve, you may have to follow the piping from the hood until you find the suppressant holding tank. The tank itself will have a shutoff valve that will disable the system until the proper maintenance work is done.

How do restaurants prevent fires?

Restaurant owners keep their businesses, staff, and customers safe from fire by ensuring all evacuation pathways are free of clutter and debris. A fire suppression system will also be installed on all necessary cooking equipment, along with a sprinkler system. Finally, fire extinguishers are placed in strategic areas
throughout the kitchen and dining room. This system provides a multi-faceted approach to fire safety to keep everyone safe while ensuring excellent marks from the fire inspector.

What is a commercial kitchen hood fire suppression system?

A commercial kitchen fire suppression system is designed to keep the restaurant and all people safe in the case of a fire outbreak. The system senses when flames are present and then activates, spraying either water or a chemical solution to extinguish the fire quickly. These systems protect the cooking equipment, the business, and all staff and customers, ensuring fire safety at all times.

How does a commercial kitchen hood fire suppression system work?

A commercial kitchen hood fire suppression system is designed to detect flames and activate at a moment’s notice. The nozzles are installed under the ventilation hoods. When a flame is present, the system will spray water or a chemical solution directly on top of the fire, extinguishing it quickly. The system will also shut off gas to the cooking equipment, further eliminating the fire’s fuel. Without oxygen or gas, the fire quickly dies, and the commercial kitchen remains protected.

How many times a year does a restaurant’s fire control system need to be inspected?

The National Fire Protection Agency recommends that you have your fire suppression and sprinkler systems inspected at least four times per year. These safety inspections are necessary for ensuring fire protection in case of the breakout of fire. Monthly and weekly inspections by staff and the owner of the establishment are also recommended just to be on the safe side.

What are the different types of fire protection systems?

Commercial kitchens have a variety of fire protection systems to choose from. Wet fire sprinkler systems use automatic sprinklers attached to a piping system that is then connected to a water supply. When the sprinkler heads detect heat in the immediate area, only those sprinklers will activate to extinguish the fire quickly. Dry pipe systems work the same way, except they employ pressurized air or nitrogen instead of water. When a fire is detected, the system will discharge water just like a wet fire sprinkler. These systems are used
when the pipes are subject to freezing. Special hazard fire protection systems are designed to detect and put out fires in locations where usual suppression systems will not work or prove to be inadequate. Dry chemical fire suppression systems use pressurized dry chemicals to extinguish fires before they become detectable to the eye, keeping the business and all resources protected from any major interruptions. Gaseous fire suppression systems use carbon dioxide to extinguish flames in areas that are not occupied by people. The CO2 is efficient and effective against fire without leaving toxic or residual waste behind that could prove harmful to property and equipment.
Finally, there are foam fire suppression systems, which rapidly control and extinguish fires caused by flammable liquids.

What is an active fire protection system?

Active fire protection (AFP) represents a group of systems that require some type of action to work efficiently in the case of fire. The system can be manually operated, like a fire extinguisher, or automatic, like a fire sprinkler system.

What should I do if my commercial kitchen fire extinguishing system does not work properly?

A commercial kitchen needs a fully operational fire extinguishing system. When fire breaks out, every second counts. These systems are designed to activate immediately, putting out fire at a moment’s notice. If your system isn’t working properly, you face damaged equipment, injury to staff and customers, and possibly worse. Have your system inspected and repaired immediately by a company like Nationwide Fire Protection to keep your business safe and prevent hefty fines from the Fire Marshall.

What is the purpose of fire protection in a restaurant?

Fire protection protects the commercial kitchen from fire and smoke, keeps the equipment safe and working properly, and prevents injury to staff and customers. If a fire does break out and you don’t have fire protection, you face a very expensive shutdown, as well as fire rehabilitation and renovation before your establishment can reopen once more.

How much does it cost to install a fire suppression system in a restaurant?

It is difficult to estimate how much a fire suppression system will cost, as it depends on your commercial kitchen layout, the type of equipment you have, and the type of fire suppression you desire. The national average for fire suppression tends to run around $3500 and comes with the complete hood suppression system, installation of the system, hand portable systems, a complete test of all the equipment, and all associated permits.

What is best: An active or passive fire protection system?

Both Active Fire Protection (AFP) and Passive Fire Protection (PFP) systems can be effective in specific situations. With an active system, an action or motion is required to turn the system on, such as pulling a fire alarm manually or when the system senses smoke or flames. These systems are ideal for all businesses like commercial kitchens that are always under threat of smoke and fire. Passive systems work to compartmentalize a building through a series of fire-resistant walls and floors. This helps to prevent the spread of smoke and fire from one room to the next, preventing wide-scale damage. We recommend that you have both active and passive systems installed in your commercial restaurant business to keep your business, staff, and customers safe at all times. Talk to your fire safety equipment installation team for details.

What are passive fire protection systems?

A passive fire protection (PFP) system compartmentalizes a building through a series of fire-resistance-rated walls and floors. The system essentially keeps the fire in a single location so that it cannot harm other parts of the building. The system can include fire and smoke dampers, fire doors, fire-resistant walls, and fire-resistant floors.