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How A Fire Suppression System In Your Commercial Kitchen Could Save Your Business

by Luke Lawson

Operating a commercial kitchen in a restaurant or other business means taking steps to ensure safety and prevent a fire in the kitchen. If a fire does break out, it is vital that you have a kitchen fire suppression system in place to put out or contain the fire until help arrives.

Automatic Fire Suppression

Commercial kitchens are often fitted with an automatic fire suppression system designed to release a wet chemical suppressant to cool the fire and create a foam layer over grease and oil to cut off the oxygen supply and put out the fire. The chemical used is typically a potassium-based wet chemical and water solution, but some systems use variations of this and other chemicals. 

The system is designed to work quickly and effectively, reducing the damage from the fire and allowing people to get safely out of the building. Once the fire department arrives, they can take over, but the system should be large enough to effectively contain the fire until help arrives. 

Manual System Triggers

While the kitchen fire suppression system is designed to go off if a fire starts, most systems also have a manual trigger near the cooking equipment. Sometimes it is mounted in the hood and other times on the wall. If a fire breaks out, a kitchen worker can pull the handle to set the system off, stopping the fire quickly. 

If there is a delay in the automatic system engaging, this manual activation system can mean a much faster response from the system, and since the fire is still small, it will most likely put it out. Once the kitchen fire suppression system is triggered, it is vital that everyone leave the kitchen because there can be some vapor coming from the system that could be harmful to inhale. 

Resetting The System

Once the kitchen fire suppression system is activated, you will have to have a fire suppression service come and reset the system before you can resume use of the kitchen. You must clean the vents and hood, and all the chemical suppressants must be cleaned up. The fire system service will need to check all the heads and make sure they are in good shape and reusable, fill the system with more suppressant, and recharge the system. 

Typically, the health department will inspect the kitchen to ensure it is clean and ready to use before you can use it. It might be worth hiring a commercial cleaning company to help get the kitchen ready to use, and if there was any damage as a result of the fire, those repairs would also need to complete before the kitchen can reopen. 

Contact a local installer of fire suppression systems to learn more.