Fire safety in commercial kitchens

Commercial kitchens’ fire safety sits at the top of the public high-risk list. Most commercial kitchens cater for high numbers of people, with large volumes of food production and throughput.

Deep-fat fryers, cooking ranges and grills are all basic commercial kitchen requirements that pose some of the highest risks in commercial kitchens.

What class is a commercial kitchen fire?

Fire classes are defined based on the type of fuel that’s burning. Commercial kitchen fires are classified as F Class fires, as they’re the results of cooking oils and fats catching fire. Cooking oils and fats can also be auto-ignited, which means they can be set alight without a flame or ignition source.

Professional clean kitchen interior

Commercial kitchen equipment

Fryers use flammable cooking oil. Grease residue builds up in kitchen hoods, extractor fans and air and exhaust ducts, which can ignite at any time and quickly spread through the kitchen and overflow into other public spaces. Think about large public event locations or stadiums and the number of people these establishments attract. Aside from the complex’s commercial kitchens, there may be pop-up fast food vendors that also pose a significant risk.

Lady standing on the side of a van parked outside a stadium

What a fire safety system solution looks like for commercial kitchens

Stadium Australia has between 50 and 60 fire suppression systems at their Homebush Park location,” says our GM, Gary Marshall. These fire suppression systems can detect heat or fire and suppress a fire before it spreads. The system is configured around the kitchen hoods, ducts and above the appliances, and when a fire is detected, wet suppression chemicals release from piping nozzles that are always open and trigger a large extinguisher vessel when activated.

Considerations to make when planning a commercial kitchen

One of the most important considerations when planning a commercial kitchen is the layout of the kitchen and the space to supply the kitchen suppression system.

“Designing an adequate and compliant fire safety solution around an existing infrastructure, when space in a kitchen can be at a premium, has proven to be a challenge.”

The proximity of the fire suppression system to the actual cylinders and mechanisms from the physical cooking area is critical when designing a commercial kitchen. Space is fundamental to be able to effectively prevent a fire from spreading. This specialist approach is why this fire safety expert consultation needs to form part of the engineering design and approval process.

Maintenance is a must

Regardless of the age or location of a building, bi-annual maintenance assessments MUST be undertaken. This visit is not just to check on the operation of fire safety system itself but is also so our team can clear out the build-up of oil and grease around the kitchen hoods, ducts and the nozzle detection tubing.

Need an expert to help with your commercial kitchen fire safety solution? Be sure to contact us.

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