Having your fire suppression system properly maintained makes a world of difference when it comes to protecting your restaurant against fire. Cooking appliances are usually using open flame as the primary heating source, so it is vital for you to have the right program and tools in place to protect your restaurant facilty and its people in the worst-case scenario.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), O.S.H.A., your insurance provider, and your local building inspectors require you to perform monthly and annual inspections in accordance with the codes and standards of NFPA – 101 for your kitchen fire suppression systems.

At National Fire Safety, we proudly service every different type of kitchen fire suppression system including but not limited to: Amerex, Ansul, Buckeye, Greeheck, Kidde, Pro-tex, Pyrochem, Range Guard, and more…

The NFPA 17a and 96, set out your responsibilities and requirements for cleaning, maintenance, inspection and testing of your kitchen suppression system. These codes require you to use a certified fire protection professional approved by your local authority to conduct all semi-annual inspections and tests of your fire suppression system.

General Inspections

As a full-service fire protection company, The National Fire Safety installs, maintains, inspects and tests all of your kitchen fire suppression systems. Our dedicated factory certified fire protection technicians will:

  • Replace your dry chemical fire suppression system with a wet chemical system that meets the UL300 Standard
  • Verify whether or not your wet chemical system is compliant with UL300
  • Inspect your ansul system every six months, in accordance with NFPA 17a and 96
  • File all applicable paperwork with local authorities
  • Provide your insurance carrier with lower risk assessments, lowering your premiums

Every inspection, repair or test we perform is conducted exactly as the applicable codes dictate under NFPA 17a & 96, as well as your insurance requirements. Protecting your life safety and that of your employees and customers is our utmost concern.

Semi-Annual Inspections

Several NFPA guidelines, including 17, 17a and 96, address the maintenance of commercial cooking equipment and restaurant fire suppression systems.  Semi-annually, you are required to have a qualified fire protection technician inspect and test the entire kitchen suppression system, including but not limited to:

  • Terminal fuse link on detection line is cut
  • Manual pull station is pulled
  • Make sure fuel supply shuts down
  • Nozzles are free of blockage
  • Nozzle and appliance line-up has proper coverage
  • Nozzle caps are in place
  • Make sure make-up air shuts down
  • Exhaust fan is operating properly
  • Cylinder is inspected for corrosion
  • System pressure is within specs
  • Fusible links are replaced
  • Did system activate alarm if applicable
  • The extinguishing system is in its proper location
  • The manual indicators and seals are intact
  • The maintenance tag or certificate is in place
  • No obvious physical damage or condition exists that might prevent operation (e.g. a leaky pipe or corrosion)

The fire protection technician must document the results and any recommendations, and attach a new tag with his or her name and the date on the fire suppression system.

Understanding UL 300

Summary

Fire test standard UL 300 has been a major factor in significant changes in how commercial cooking operations are protected from fire. This report looks at the background of UL 300 and changes in related NFPA National Fire Code documents. The dilemma of what to do about existing fire protection systems is also discussed.

Introduction

In 1998, a revolution in the fire protection of commercial cooking operations occurred. Several key fire protection standards were revised. While protection requirements for new installations seemed clear, fire protection professionals found themselves in a quandary over existing installations.

The changes raised doubts about the ability of existing fire protection systems to provide adequate protection. Questions arose as to which systems needed to be upgraded, the length of transition time that should be allowed, and the difference in loss exposure between existing protection and new criteria.

A driving force behind this fire protection revolution is one fire test standard developed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL). First issued in 1992, UL 300, Standard for Safety for Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishing Systems for Protection of Restaurant Cooking Areas, affects how kitchen fire protection systems are tested. The revised standard is intended to provide test conditions which more closely resemble the hazards faced in “real world” fire situations.

Indications that an existing protection system is not UL 300 compliant include:

Use of dry chemical agent

Use of a single nozzle to protect multiple appliances

Use of a single nozzle to protect a combination griddle/range

To date, no dry chemical system has been listed under UL 300. However, existing dry chemical systems (separate from the system protecting the cooking appliance) may still be used for plenum and duct protection. UL 300 requires that multiple appliances be covered individually unless a specific listing is in the manufacturer’s design, installation, and maintenance manual and the manufacturer must specifically test this arrangement under the UL 300 test standard.

*All new restaurant fire protection systems manufactured after the above effective dates must comply with UL 300 to qualify for a UL Listing. Those systems, which receive the UL listing, are published in UL’s annual Fire Protection Equipment Directory.

New Installations

All new restaurant fire protection systems manufactured after the effective date of November 1994 must comply with UL 300 to qualify for a UL Listing. In addition, NFPA 96 requires that such fire-extinguishing systems comply with UL 300. Used systems (or new systems manufactured prior to November 1994) that do not comply with UL 300 should not be installed.

Existing Installations

UL does not “unlist” restaurant fire protection systems that were listed prior to the implementation of UL 300. Such systems continue to qualify as a Listed product as long as the system is in compliance with its original Listing requirements.

Portable Fire Extinguishers

Another aspect that should not be overlooked is the changes with portable fire extinguishers:

  • Designation of portable extinguisher use as secondary backup fire protection to the automatic fire protection system
  • Use of the Class K portable

Use of portable extinguishers as backup to the automatic fire protection system may require a major education effort at some locations. In most cases, the portable fire extinguisher is considered the “first line of defense” against fire. Prior to the UL 300 “revolution” this was true for cooking operations. Now the first line of defense against fire in cooking operations is to activate the fire-extinguishing system.

Cutting Insurance Rates with
Improved Fire Protection Programs

Your insurance policy is the number one driving factor when it comes to making the Life Safety decisions of your business. There is no cut rate insurance plan for life safety, you either meet the codes or not, it is that simple, and your business protection and payment on claims depends on it. It is up to the business owners to ensure that all life safety inspections are completed and ensured compliant by qualified service provider. Insurance companies are not in business to pay claims, but rather focus on keeping businesses safe with claim avoidance and that is where we come in.

ALL ABOUT RISK

Your life safety program is considered as an extension of your business insurance policy. All of the mandated inspections and services performed, lessen the risk associated with your business, which in turn, directly reflects in your premium rates. You count on us, not only to meet the minimum requirements but to maximize the reduction of risk to benefit both your business health, and your bottom line. The principle is the same as having an anti-theft device in your car, if you have one, you’ll get better rates. We work directly with your insurance provider to maximize your savings based on this same principle.

RATE ASSURANCE

Our exclusive Rate Assurance Program all but guarantees that you are getting the maximum insurance savings, eliminating claim issues, and virtually enabling your Life Safety Protection Program to pay for itself. At National Fire Safety, we have gained the respect from your insurance companies, contractors, building officials, fire marshals, and more, so much so, that we train them at own state of the art training facility. Now That’s Respect!