Restaurant Suppression System Inspections Vancouver

Restaurants pose exceptional challenges for fire protection systems. Grills, deep fryers and exhaust systems present a serious fire risk if not properly cleaned and maintained.

Traditional dry chemical restaurant suppression systems—designed to suppress fires fueled by

animal fats—are not effective with today’s vegetable-based cooking oils. Modern kitchens also have better-insulated deep fryers and vegetable oils that burn at higher temperatures, making any fire more difficult to extinguish. Then there are the hazards posed by electrical and gas appliances.

ULC 1254 addresses the changing fire protection needs of restaurant kitchens. Does your restaurant suppression system meet this industry standard? If you have a dry chemical suppression system, the answer is “no”; a wet chemical system, “maybe.”

NFPA 17a and 96, meanwhile, set out your responsibilities 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 (usually the fire department) to conduct all semi-annual and annual inspections and tests.

For your reference, we have summarized some of these inspection requirements below.

As a full-service fire protection company, Vancouver Fire installs, maintains, inspects and tests kitchen suppression systems. Our dedicated ASTT-certified fire protection technicians will:

  • Replace your dry chemical fire suppression system with a wet chemical system that meets the ULC1254 Standard
  • Verify whether or not your wet chemical system is compliant with ULC1254
  • Inspect your existing fire suppression system every six months, in accordance with NFPA 17a and 96

As always, every inspection, repair or test we perform is conducted exactly as the applicable codes dictate. Protecting your life safety and that of your employees and customers is our utmost concern.

Wet vs Dry Fire Suppression Systems

ULC 1254 (UL 300 in the U.S.) requires restaurant fire suppression systems to not only extinguish a fire, but secure it for a specified time. Since 1995, when ULC 1254 was adopted, no dry chemical fire suppression systems could prevent re-ignition. Although older wet chemical fire suppression systems also failed, compliant fire suppression systems are now available.

If your commercial kitchen has a dry chemical fire suppression system, it must be replaced with a wet chemical system equipped with an automatic fuel shut-off that stops the flow of gas or cuts off electricity to all the appliances once the fire suppression system is tripped. The system should also automatically trip or activate the building’s fire alarm system.

If you have an older wet chemical system, it should be checked to ensure it meets ULC1254 standards. A ‘wet chemical’ fire suppression system meeting the ULC1254 standard is required to protect the cooking equipment, hood and exhaust system.

To ensure your restaurant fire suppression system complies with ULC 1254 standards, contact Vancouver Fire today.

Inspection Requirements

Several NFPA guidelines, including 17, 17a and 96, address the maintenance of commercial cooking equipment and restaurant fire suppression systems. NFPA 17 addresses dry chemical suppression systems, which currently do not meet ULC 1254 standards.

A member of your staff may handle some responsibilities, such as cleaning and some visual inspections. However, you must use a qualified, approved fire protection technician to complete semi-annual and annual inspections and tests.

Under NFPA 96, you must keep all cooking equipment, hoods, ducts (if applicable), fans, fire suppression systems and special effluent or energy control equipment in good working order. Hoods, fans, ducts etc. must be cleaned to bare metal. A qualified fire protection technician must inspect the exhaust system at specified intervals (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually, depending on the nature of your operations).

NFPA 17a, meanwhile, requires an owner to inspect a wet chemical fire suppression system monthly, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. A member of your staff must ensure:

  • 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 pressure gauge(s), if provided, is in operable range
  • The nozzle blow-off caps are intact and undamaged
  • The hood, duct, and protected cooking appliances have not been replaced, modified or relocated.

If your staff member discovers any deficiencies, these must be corrected immediately. You must keep monthly records of inspections until the next semi-annual maintenance inspection.

Semi-annually, NFPA 17a and 96 require that a qualified fire protection technician inspect and

test the entire kitchen suppression system, including:

  • Examining all detectors, expellent gas container(s), agent cylinder(s), releasing devices, piping, hose assemblies, nozzles, signals, all auxiliary equipment and the liquid level of all non-pressurized wet chemical containers
  • Verifying that distribution piping is not obstructed
  • Replacing fusible links (which provide automatic discharge of the system)

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.

Every 12 years, a qualified fire protection technician must conduct hydrostatic testing, and inspect and test the:

  • Regulator
  • Tank and cylinder
  • Actuation hose (or replace) and hose assemblies
  • Wet chemical containers
  • Auxiliary pressure containers

Vancouver Fire is one of the few fire protection companies that have invested in the expensive equipment and intensive labour required for hydrostatic testing. Just another example of our commitment to exceptional service.

While only a qualified fire protection technician may conduct the semi-annual inspections and tests for your portable fire extinguishers, Vancouver Fire will train your staff members, free of charge, to conduct monthly inspections.

Contact us today to schedule your semi-annual restaurant suppression system inspection and monthly inspection training.

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