A Starter Guide to Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems
Establishing safety measures for fires is a critical priority for all businesses and residents. Still, it is especially vital for operations that regularly use fire and flammable materials. Restaurant operations engage in a host of activities that carry a high risk for fires. The regular use of heat, deep fryers, open flames, and hot ovens combined with the use of fat, grease, oils, and smoke. These various elements make for a volatile environment for fire safety and create a demand for a restaurant fire suppression system.
The risk of a kitchen fire getting out of control is a constant threat for restaurants. Kitchens present ample opportunity for a tiny spark or random flame to grow into a full blaze quickly. These conditions threaten to ruin expensive equipment and valuable resources while also risking the building and its staff. There are few business operations that necessitate a capable and dynamic fire suppression system more than a restaurant.
This article offers an essential guide to restaurant fire suppression systems, including recommendations on how to choose a system and what types of designs are available.
What to Know about Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems
Let’s first spend a little more time understanding the unique nature of risk to restaurant fire safety. The use of grease, oils, and fats is a specifically high threat since they function as abundant fuel for a fire. To make matters more complex, traditional fire suppression systems such as water sprinklers are ineffective at dispensing fire that results from these elements. In fact, applying water to hot oils, grease, and fat often makes the threat worse. Water commonly displaces the elements of fuel, spreading them around and causing a fire to grow.
For these reasons, restaurant fire suppression systems have been uniquely developed to quell the rapid spread of fire fueled by the elements of oil, grease, and fat. Fire suppression systems for restaurants use a unique set of formulas and designs to be effective against fire in these environments.
How Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems Function
Many fire suppression systems are built directly into an exhaust hood. These integrated builds require specific configurations to remain compliant with safety protocols. For instance, large flat surfaces require nozzles to be installed directly overhead. In contrast, enclosed or partially enclosed equipment requires nozzles are pointed directly inside the equipment.
Through a device called a fusible link, the suppression system is designed to identify a specific temperature. It will then trigger the deployment of wet chemical to extinguish a fire and prevent it from spreading. This allows for automatic operation of the system. In addition, the system can be manually activated by a manual pull station – similar to how a building fire alarm is activated. Upon activation, the fire suppression system will discharge wet-chemical to all protected appliances and into the exhaust hood area above the filters and into the exhaust duct. It also cut off the fuel flow to any equipment upon activation– whether it be gas or electric. This helps prevents re-ignition after the fire system discharge is complete.
The wet-chemical is delivered to each individual hazard thru a specific nozzle that is designed for that appliance, exhaust hood or exhaust duct. A properly installed and maintained fire suppression system ensures proper extinguishment in the event of an appliance fire – and also provides protection in the exhaust hood and duct to prevent the fire from spreading into additional areas of the building, roof, etc.
Suggestions on Choosing a System
Our WFX team can assist in helping you identify the correct choices for your restaurant fire suppression system. Often, experts with diverse experience and training should handle selecting the proper plan for your business needs. These are critical decisions that take into consideration the security of your business and employees, and there are many safety and compliance protocols to consider.
In general, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind when making your decision. For one, consider the size of the area that needs to be covered in your restaurant. Secondly, clarify what kinds of cooking equipment is in use by your restaurant, including gas or electric stoves, open flames, fryers, wood-burning and electric ovens, or other types of cooking mechanisms. And, finally, you will want to identify any custom additions that you may need for your specific kitchen.
Before You Go…
Our team can guarantee that your installation is conducted with the utmost professionalism. We can also provide maintenance to ensure your systems keep you safe in the long run.
You can schedule a consultation or call us today at 855-WFX-1978.