NFP Commercial Fire Suppression
Restaurant fire suppression is your first defense against the risk of fire. The commercial kitchen is like the heartbeat of the restaurant. It’s where the food is made that makes the customers happy, which in turn brings in the revenue. Yet there is always a fire risk, and restaurant fire suppression can save your business and people’s lives.
With continual exposure to substantial amounts of heat, fires can break out for a variety of reasons. Regardless of why a fire starts, it is essential to have suppression equipment that can put out the flames as quickly as possible.
It seems like water would be a good option, but not in a commercial kitchen. Grease and oil can cause flames to spread quickly. Fire extinguishers also aren’t the best option, as the flame-retardant chemicals can ruin food and produce. Fire suppression is the far superior solution, as the systems are designed to extinguish flames quickly and efficiently with minimal damage for maximum safety.
Types of Commercial Fire Suppression
You have a range of options when selecting a fire suppression system for your restaurant. You want a reliable and trustworthy system that is also within your budget. Here are a few options you might want to consider.
Gas System – FM200
Gas fire suppression systems are stored as a liquid. Nitrogen is used to pressurize the tanks. When the solution is released, the FM200 chemical agent will cause a chemical reaction with the fire, thereby extinguishing it. This type of commercial fire suppression is ideal for switch rooms, data rooms, and other types of communication rooms.
There are a few advantages to using a gas system. For one, since the solution is stored as a liquid, it takes up less space. The system is also easy to install, as the cylinder is typically located in the same room. Also, there is no reduction of oxygen, making gas fire suppression systems safe for humans upon discharge.
There are a few downsides to gas suppression systems, such as the fact that FM200 doesn’t travel well on account of the pressurization and may be cost-prohibitive if you have a large room to keep safe. There are also rumors that the gas used in the FM200 is soon-to-be-banned as it’s considered a hydro fluoride chloride (HFC), though some companies are ordering inert gas canisters as an alternative solution.
Foam Fire Suppression Systems
You may hear foam fire suppression systems called by brand names like Amerex and Ansul. These systems are specifically designed to keep commercial kitchens safe from fire. Nozzles are located underneath the cooking canopies and are meant to propel a water-based agent with a chemical foam mix over the flames, thus extinguishing them. The trigger is usually high amounts of heat, though some systems have a manual pull switch.
The advantages of using commercial foam suppression systems is the ease of use and the fact that there is no damage to the kitchen or food upon release. There is also no electrical work required, which also contributes to safety.
The downsides to using a foam system include the cost, as you have to use stainless steel pipework and fittings. The systems can take longer to clean up compared to water mist systems, and the installation process usually has to take place late at night, since some kitchens take hours to cool down.
Foam Deluge Systems
Foam deluge fire suppression systems are suitable for large applications where you are not permitted to use water or gas. Examples include areas around transformers, oil tanks, and storage silos. The system uses a simple sprinkler application that disperses a foam concentrate mixed with water to provide the expanding agent.
These systems are excellent for external areas and can cover vast amounts of square footage. Foam deluge fire suppression is also ideal for flammable liquids in airports, oil storage facilities, and aircraft hangars.
The downsides are that the system employs a wet agent, so you need to consider the electrical risk. The foam can also be messy, so clean up is required.
Water Mist Fire Suppression
Water mist systems are rapidly replacing sprinklers in large areas like data rooms. The systems can be used for flammable liquids and electrical rooms, as the mist evaporates and causes a starving oxygen effect rather than cooling the area down.
The advantages to employing a commercial water mist fire suppression system include the low cost of the suppression agent, the fact that there is no flooding or mess when compared to sprinklers, and there are no water storage or pump power requirements.
The downsides include the low availability of these systems as there are few manufacturers and distributors, and the mist system is still not widely recognized as an alternative to FM200 gas and sprinklers.
Pneumatic Heat Detection Tube
This system is pretty much a fire extinguisher with a valve and length of heat detection tube. The tube acts as the detection and propellant feed for the fire suppression agent. When the temperature climbs to a certain level around the tube, the system will blow a small pressurized hole in the pipe, whereby it will then propel the agent directly at the flames.
One advantage of a pneumatic heat detection system is the fact that only a small amount of agent is required. The installation costs are low, and there are few maintenance costs. The system is also mobile, which means it can be moved and installed elsewhere with ease.
A prime disadvantage to a heat detection tube system includes the fact that it might be ineffective against large fires.
Halon Fire Suppression Systems
Halon fire suppression setups are known as “clean agent” systems. The clean agent consists of a solution that isn’t electrical conducting, volatile or messy. Instead, Halon is a liquified and compressed gas that stops the spread of flames by chemically disrupting the fire.
There are two primary types of Halon gas. Halon 1211 is a liquid streaming agent while Halon 1301 is a gaseous flooding agent. Both agents leave no residue behind and are considered safe for human exposure. The agent itself is rated class “B” for flammable liquids and “C” for electrical fires. However, Halon systems are also effective on class “A” common combustible fires.
These commercial fire suppression systems can extinguish fires quickly without leaving damage behind, making them ideal for restaurant kitchens.
The downside is that, because Halon is a CFC, production ceased in 1994. Not only is the system hard to charge, but there is also no cost-effective means of safely and effectively disposing of Halon. Therefore, recycling and reusing the existing Halon supply is the most responsible means of protecting lives and property using this fire suppression system.
Learn more about: Information about Fire Restoration Services for Commercial Kitchens
Which Commercial Fire Suppression System is Right for You?
Nationwide Fire Protection is the industry leader in commercial fire suppression systems. Contact us in Denver, Colorado, to discuss your needs. We are sure to find a fire suppression system that is safe, effective, and well within your budget. Call now to receive a free estimate.