Do you have a restaurant fire suppression system that needs an upgrade? New standards mean that many of these systems should be upgraded in order to handle vegetable oils more efficiently. Because fire suppression systems are complex and costly mechanisms, remember to have them cleaned and maintained by professional technicians on a regular basis. Just like any kitchen machine, fire suppression components should be tested frequently to ensure that they’re working well.
To be certain that your system is being maintained properly, consult with a company that specializes in fire safety. These professionals can inspect and service your system to ensure that danger from grease fires is minimized and employees can work in greater safety.
In addition, have fire safety experts check that your restaurant’s other fire safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, sprinklers, and alarms, are working well. Fire can be devastating. Keep your restaurant safe!
Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems
In former decades, most cooking was done with animal fat. Many restaurant fire suppression systems were designed with this in mind, using saponification to extinguish grease fires. However, in recent years health concerns regarding animal fats have led many restaurants to switch to vegetable oils for cooking. Because vegetable oils cook at higher temperatures, fires are hotter. In addition, vegetable oils contain fewer fatty acids, so the effects of saponification are reduced.
Upgrade Your System
You may need to upgrade your fire suppression system to make sure that it is working efficiently with vegetable oils and with newer appliances. If you’re unsure whether or not your system should be upgraded, check with a company that specializes in fire safety. A safe kitchen is a happy kitchen.
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Required in Every Restaurant’s Kitchen
On the suppression side of CrownFire, we are a supplier of kitchen suppression systems for Amerex, Ansul, Kidde, Pyrochem, Range Guard, and Badger. As a part of our ongoing commitment to excellence, we are continually training our technicians through manufacturer training and industry-related associations such as the NFPA, NAFED, and the CFAA.
Restaurant, Banquet Hall and Commercial Kitchens, and Industrial Systems
Protect your business and your employees from a devastating fire with a well-maintained suppression system. Whether we install a new system or service an older one, CrownFire’s experienced technicians will do it right the first time. We install and service systems for restaurants, spray booths, storage rooms, and other areas, with the fast-pace environment in restaurant kitchens, taking every precautionary step possible to prevent fires is critical.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why change my restaurant’s fire surpression system?
You should change your system because UL has developed a stringent new standard – Fire Extinguishing Systems for Protection of Restaurant Cooking Areas – that reflects the increased threat of fire in commercial cooking equipment. Systems manufactured after November 21, 1994, must meet the new standard in order to carry the UL listing label. In most jurisdictions, systems will have to be upgraded to meet the new UL300/ULC1254.6 Standard. NDPA 17, 17A & 96 now require that all systems installed in commercial kitchen system operations meet the UL300/ULC1254.6 testing criteria.
How have the standards changed?
For example, under the old standard, tests could be conducted using mock-ups of appliances. The new standards require that testing be done using “commercially available” appliances. They also require new types of high-temperature cooking oils rather than traditional animal fats. These and other major changes have dramatically increased the level of performance required to pass the tests and receive a UL listing. Systems manufactured prior to the UL300/ULC1254.6 effective date could not meet the new standards.
What caused the changes?
There are two primary reasons: development of high-efficiency appliances and a switch to vegetable cooking oils in recent years. The results have been increased threat of fires and the occurrence of fires that are harder to extinguish. Higher temperatures and reduced effectiveness of pre-UL300/ULC1254.6 systems result in fires that reignite spontaneously, in some cases, repeatedly over a period of time.
Why does that occur?
Many of the newer appliances, for example, require less energy because they are better insulated and help cooking oils retain heat longer. If fire occurs, however, the same effect may keep oils above the auto-ignition point longer than in older appliances.
The oils, too, contribute to the increased fire hazard. Traditionally animal fats were used as a cooking medium. Today, many cooking operations have changed to vegetable oils because they offer greater health benefits. The oils, however, are typically used at higher cooking temperatures. Auto-ignition temperature is higher as well, making fires more difficult to extinguish.
Are there any other factors?
Another characteristic of animal fats is that they contain relatively high levels of fatty acids when compared to vegetable oils. Extinguishing agents are typically alkaline in makeup. When they are discharged on a fire and come in contact with the fatty acids, a soap-like substance forms and blankets the surface.
This process, called saponification, helps smother the fire and keeps the fire extinguished until the fat has cooled below its auto-ignition temperature. Vegetable oils, however, have significantly lower levels of fatty acids. Saponification is reduced, while at the same time, the higher temperature of the cooking oil helps to break down the soapy layer faster.
How does UL300/ULC1254.6 contribute?
The test conditions under UL300/ULC1254-6 more closely resemble the new generation of hazards. For example, the heat source must now remain on for as long as 2 minutes during the pre-burn period before the system is actuated. That keeps cooking oils at higher temperatures, simulating more persistent fires. Systems that meet the new standard and are listed under UL300/ULC1254.6 have greater capability to protect against the new generation of hazards.
Are all types of fire surpression systems affected equally?
To date, no dry chemical systems have been recertified and they don’t carry the UL listing label. Most liquid systems will need to be modified since many appliances require more agent than required under the old standard.
What about hood and duct protection?
Testing under UL300/ULC1254.6 is no different than under the previous standard. Existing protection that may still qualify is used as part of an upgraded system.
What is the UL300/ULC1254.6 upgrade process?
We will survey the system you currently use and provide an upgrade cost estimate. Then any new hardware that’s required will be installed and connected to any existing equipment which can be reused. All necessary piping and/or detection system upgrades will be included. When installation is finished, a complete functional test will be done.
How long will the surpression system upgrade take?
Depending upon the extent of the upgrade and the age and condition of the existing system, a new UL300/ULC1254.6 upgrade will take less time than a complete new installation. Many upgrades will take less than a day. Some will take longer. We will assist you in scheduling the upgrade to best fit your operation schedule with the least amount of disruption. He can even arrange “after hours” installation to avoid disruption to your business.
Commericial Restaurant Kitchen Fire Suppression Service Coverage Areas Toronto, Vaughan, Etobicoke, Mississauga, Burlington, Hamilton, Brantford, Kitchener, Cambridge, Woodstock, London, Niagra Falls, St. Catherines, Stoney Creek, Ontario