Kitchen fire protection systems (SP206)
When choosing a kitchen fire protection system there are many factors to be considered such as the activities being undertaken, the individuals within the building, the building structure and all the associated risks.
Every kitchen works to its own schedule and cooks different products. Before specifying a system your installer should complete a risk assessment. The risk assessment takes in to consideration the type of cooking, the amount of time that the kitchen is in use, the layout of the kitchen and the equipment. These are all important factors, for example cooking in a wok or charcoal burner has more risks and produces more fat than boiling food in saucepans.
The extent of any maintenance and recharge of the system will also be linked to the risk assessment. The planned maintenance regime for example, for a care home kitchen, would be less frequent than for an environment where chicken is being fried 14 hours a day, seven days a week.
Mitigating risk by installing and suitably maintaining a kitchen fire protection system is viewed as good practice by the fire and rescue services across the UK.
These systems protect premises by automatically activating as soon as fire is detected, preventing the spread of fire to other parts of the building.
If you are managing a commercial kitchen please take the following good practices in to account:
- Although the system will be automatically activated in the presence of fire, the flames will have reached a certain level before this will take place. Manual activation can significantly reduce damage as the fire will have been extinguished earlier than had the system been automatically activated. Kitchen staff will need to be aware of the system and have some training in order to manually activate.
- The system’s performance will significantly benefit from a regular cleaning regime of the ducts and extract system. In cases where there is a build up of grease, the suppression system may take longer to halt the spread the fire or indeed may not be able to extinguish it entirely. There could, therefore, be more extensive damage than had the system been able to operate in the most optimum conditions.
- Commercial kitchen units are often on wheels allowing chefs to alter the layout as required and bring in new equipment. If the original layout of the kitchen is changed in any way, the manager should check that the kitchen fire suppression system can continue be effective in the new environment.
Your NSI approved company can advise you of the most appropriate type of kitchen fire suppression system for your needs and help you to define your maintenance regime.
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