For many restaurant owners, their restaurant is more than just their business. It’s their life. The greatest fear for those owners is a kitchen fire. A kitchen fire can devastate a restaurant’s business in a matter of minutes. Once the blaze is contained, all employees are accounted for, the damage is clear, and the adrenaline has run its course… the real stress begins. While most restaurant owners have fire insurance, the loss of revenue, stress of hiring contractors for rebuilding, and the worry over taking care of employees who now have no income may be enough to cause the restaurant owner to permanently close down the business. The best way to protect yourself and your restaurant from this nightmare scenario is through a thorough list of fire prevention and suppression tactics.
A restaurant is full of flammable material, including cooking oils, alcohol, parchment paper, and foil. Indeed, according to the National Fire Protection Association, 61% of restaurant fires are from cooking equipment. Once these items ignite, they spread into ductwork and exhaust systems built to extract smoke and combustible vapors. While restaurant owners should be utilizing measures to prevent fires, kitchen hood fire suppression systems are there to protect your restaurant should a fire start. However, merely having kitchen hood fire suppression systems installed is not enough. Those systems need to be inspected and serviced regularly by a professional to ensure they will be in top working order in the event of that unexpected fire.
How Often Should You Perform a Kitchen Hood Fire Suppression Inspection?
The National Fire Protection Association requires a complete inspection of commercial kitchen hood fire suppression systems every six months. These inspections must be carried out by certified fire safety experts. The purpose of this inspection is to ensure that in the event of a fire, the kitchen hood fire suppression system will activate and put out the fire, while also shutting off any gas or electricity flowing to the equipment.
It is also crucial for the restaurant owner to conduct monthly kitchen hood fire suppression inspections as well. These monthly inspections will point out any current or potential issues with the equipment, for instance, damaged wires, grease buildup, and clogs. Cleaning the kitchen hood regularly to ensure a lack of grease buildup will also help reduce fire risk. Hiring the right certified professional to keep you on track with repairs, updates, and servicing will give you the peace of mind you need, knowing you are doing everything you can to avoid a catastrophic kitchen fire.
During the kitchen fire hood suppression system inspection, a certified technician will evaluate each component of the fire suppression system for performance and effectiveness. Fire suppression system nozzles and nozzle blow-off caps will be checked for build-up and damage. Pressure gauges for the tanks of the extinguishing agent will be checked for proper PSI. The functionality of all control components will be reviewed. Ensure fans are operating properly. Testing of the system’s activation processes will be done by pulling the manual pull station and by cutting a fusible link to mimic melting metal from high heat. Gas lines and electrical circuits will be tested to confirm automatic shutoff once the fire suppression system activates. Certified technicians will also be able to make any necessary repairs to damaged parts and remedy any other issues that came to light during the inspection.
At the end of the inspection, the technician will provide a Commercial Cooking System Service and Inspection Report. One copy of the report will be left at the business and a second copy will be sent to the local fire department. To ensure fire code compliance and for insurance needs, the business owner should keep a copy of each inspection report with the business records.
A Total Solution is here to ensure your kitchen hood fire suppression system is working at optimal levels. Contact us now for a free business fire protection assessment.