Kitchen fires are some of the most dangerous and frightening. Especially in commercial kitchens, which combine flammable materials with tight spaces, people can get hurt quickly. Our guide to kitchen fire suppression systems is here to provide you the information you need to make a decision about the right kind of kitchen fire suppression system for your restaurant or commercial kitchen.
Kitchen Fire Prevention: The Basics
As most experienced kitchen managers know, there are a few “must-haves” that protect your kitchen from fires to begin with.
Provide excellent training for your entire staff. Make sure that your team is aware of the fire safety regulations, and procedures for an emergency situation. Everyone should be clearly aware of their duties, goals, and responsibilities. Including, all evacuation procedures. Make sure you run regular fire trainings and fire drills with your team.
To properly train your staff, you must provide them with the essential tools for fire safety success in the kitchen. Fire extinguishers need to be placed in appropriate stations and inspected regularly, and make sure everyone knows how to use them.
Kitchen Fire Prevention: Full Fire Suppression Systems
The two most important factors in choosing the right fire suppression system for your commercial kitchen are:
- Square footage
- Type of kitchen equipment
Depending on these two factors, your options can change a great deal.
Additionally, you may want to consider whether you building contains other businesses, a dining area, or other kitchens, and how your fire suppression system can best protect not only your property, but others around you.
If your commercial kitchen faces unique construction elements – such as being located in a historic building – talk to a representative about your fire suppression system options.
The type of fire suppression you need for your kitchen will depend on the kitchen. Size is one serious factor – as you will want to make sure you have full coverage over all areas. You will want to make sure that no matter where a fire occurs, there is an appropriate response.
The other factor to consider is layout. There may be some areas of your kitchen that are safer or more prone to fire. And there may be some areas that have different fire suppression needs. How and where will you need fire protection?
Types of Kitchen Equipment
There are thousands of types of food and commercial kitchens employ a variety of kitchen equipment to cook them. From grease fryers to grills, from brick ovens to roasting pits, cooking equipment looks different. And all of it needs fire suppression.
In addition to the specific types of oils and other flammable materials you may use in your cooking, the layout temperatures they can affect which is the right kitchen fire suppression system for you.
Wet or Foam Fire Suppression Systems
In the past few decades, commercial kitchens have moved beyond standard fire extinguishing methods. One of the most common standard fie suppression systems is the “wet” or “foam” fire suppression system. In this set-up, mounted nozzles are installed that hang above the pieces of kitchen equipment. When they detect too much heat, such as the temperatures in a fire, they release a wet chemical solution that turns to foam. This wet solution cools the equipment, chokes the air from the fire, and helps to eliminate flammable vapors that cause resurgence.
The nozzles can either be mounted directly over the specific equipment, so they can be aimed where they are most needed. Or, you can mount a system on the ceiling and move equipment within the protected area easily.
Foam + Water Combination Fire Suppression
Most recently, as commercial kitchen technology continues to grow, the need for innovative kitchen fire suppression systems has grown. In addition to the standard foam suppression systems available, there are also more complex foam + water combination systems that will not only suppress the fire with a retarding foam, but will also distribute water to cool the area and the equipment up to 15 times faster.
Kitchen Fire Prevention; Regulations & Insurance
Business owners often must consider the regulations of their industry, their local and state authorities, and their insurance requirements. Know the requirements, and if you don’t, work with a kitchen fire suppression system agent who can make sure that you remain in compliance with all the authorities.