How often does Fire Extinguisher need to be serviced?
All Fire Extinguishers need to be serviced at list every 12 months or after use. If the Extinguisher is leaking it needs to be service immediately. Every month or sooner the Fire Extinguisher should be inspected by the owner of the property or his/her authorized agent.
What is Hydrostatic test, and how often should it apply?
Hydrostatic Test is a pressure test that almost all cylinders and tanks must pass in order to be complied with the laws and regulations. Some Extinguisher cylinders or System Cylinders are D.O.T. (Department of Transportation) type, and some are not. If the cylinder is a D.O.T. type it must pass a Hydrostatic Test only by a company that is certified for it.
Most of the Fire Extinguishers need to pass Hydrostatic Test every 12 years, or when they have an evidence of damage or corrosion.
Some Fire Extinguishers must pass Hydrostatic Test every 5 years, like those filled with liquid (Water or Wet Chemical) and those installed in vehicles. (NFPA 10, 8.1., State Fire marshal, California Code of Regulation, Title 19, 575.1).
Every 6 years Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher that requires 12 year hydrostatic test should be discharged, as well as Halogenated (Halon 1211) Extinguishers, and subject to be serviced. (NFPA 10, 184.108.40.206.1, Title 19. 575.4.)
What are the Classification and rating of Fires?
Choose the right Fire Extinguisher for the classification of fire it should extinguish:
Class A: Wood, paper, rubber and plastic fires.
Class B: Two Inch depth fire in square pans. Flammable liquids, oils and petroleum grease fires.
Class C: Electrical equipment fires.
Class D: metal fires.
Class K: Cooking media (vegetable or animal oils and fats).
Some Extinguishers are multi purpose, it means that those extinguishers are capable of extinguish more then one class of fire, like: A.B.C. type Extinguisher, or B.C. Extinguisher.
Where should I Install the Extinguisher?
Potable fire extinguisher should be installed up to 5 feet from the floor, and in no case less then 4 inches. The travel distance to extinguisher varies, but in no case more then 75 feet. The best locations are the exits; it should be installed in accessible place that can be reached easily. A post sign should be above the Extinguisher to indicate its location to the public.
Automatic Extinguisher system
(Kitchen Hood Systems)
How often Automatic Extinguisher system should be serviced?
All Automatic extinguishing systems Fire Suppression Systems need to be serviced at list every 6 months or after System activation. (NFPA 17A, 7.3)
How many Nozzles does my Kitchen need?
Most of the appliances that are installed under the kitchen hood must be protected with at list one nozzle connected to the Fire System. Some large appliances need more than one nozzle, like: Six Burner Range or large griddle. Other appliances do not need to be covered by nozzles like: Pizza Oven or Steamer. Although most of the nozzles look alike, they are not, each one of them has different orifice, they are located in different distance from the appliance they protect, and they aim in different angle.
What is the Pull Station for?
The pull station (Manual release) activates the system manually. By pulling the pull station you will activate the Fire System. All pull stations of the Fire System should be installed according to the system manufacturer. All pull stations must be cleared from all obstacles, and no items should be hung on them, besides the service tag.
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Do I need a permit to install new Fire System?
Yes. All new installations of Automatic Extinguishing Systems plans must be submitted to the local jurisdiction in order to be permitted.
The installers, testers or service personnel should be certified by the state fire marshal and or Contractors State License Board. All new installations must pass final test with Fire Department Inspector, unless they have exemption from Authority Having Jurisdiction. In this field test, the Inspector checks the two ways of the System activation and other requirements, like K-Class Extinguisher.
Can I change my tank only, and use the same pipes and nozzles?
No. All old pipes should be removed and replaced with new ones when installing new Automatic Extinguishing System. All penetrations in the hoods (ducts, plenums) must be sealed with grease seal (compression seal, patch seal), to prevent grease leak, and proper work of the exhaust. (NFPA 17A, 220.127.116.11)
All nozzles must be installed within the limitation of the manufacturer, aim in the angle by the specifications of the manual, in order to spray the chemical in the most efficient way, according the UL 300 test.
How many Fusible links (Sensors) does my system need?
Every appliance under a hood should be covered by at least one fusible link, as well in every duct a fusible link must be installed in the air stream. In most Fire Suppression system it is permitted to install only one fusible link for two appliances if both of them are located under one duct. The temperature of the fusible link varies; it depends in the ambient temperature of the appliance. Most common rate of temperature to be used in restaurant systems is the 450 degree Fahrenheit links. In industrial system, like in Paint Spray Booth, the common in use are 212 degree Fahrenheit links.
Does my kitchen need Gas Valve?
In most cases the answer is yes. If the appliances under your hood are connected to gas supply, your Fire Suppression System must be connected to shut off gas valve, in order to shut down the supply gas to all appliances upon system activation. Mechanical valves or electrical valves are available.
Why do I need an Electrician when I install new Fire System?
All new Fire suppression systems require, upon activation, to shut off all electrical power that produce heat; light bulbs, receptacles, electrical switches under the hood, as well as the make up air (swamp cooler). The Fire Suppression System shall be connected to the Fire Alarm System, if provided. . (NFPA 17A, 4.4.3. & 18.104.22.168)
Exhausts fans and dampers stay on upon system activation.
Only certified electrician should connect all electrical to the micro switches in the control head box of the Fire Suppression System.
The electrical connections should be outside the control head box of the Fire System, in separate connection box, to prevent malfunction or failure of the system.
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What is UL 300 Standard?
UL 300 definition: “Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishing Systems for Protection of Commercial Cooking Equipment”. This new standard test by UL (Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.) has been adopted by AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) for commercial cooking facilities like: restaurants, hotels, caterings, churches and synagogues, dormitories and anyone that cooks for public. Basically the UL 300 test covers the performance of the Pre-Engineered Fire Extinguishing Systems in order to intend to protect the cooking area in commercial kitchens.
How will I know that my System is UL 300 complies?
If the Fire System in your location is Dry Chemical, it is not UL 300 complies. Even if the Fire System is Wet Chemical (Liquid System) it is not necessarily that this System is UL 300 complies. Some models of Liquid System are not UL 300. They are some companies that manufacturers many models of Wet Chemical Fire Systems. It has to be written on the cylinder if the System meets the UL 300 requirements.
All cooking appliances that produce grease laden vapors should be covered by hood and duct, an Automatic Extinguishing System should be installed in all hoods. If you are not sure that your Fire Extinguishing System is complying with UL 300 standard, please call us for assistance, it is absolutely free!.
How does The System Work?
There are two ways in which the Automatic Extinguishing System activates.
The first one is manually: the System has pull station (manual release), in case of emergency, when fire happens, somebody needs to pull the pull station in order to activate the System. Some pull station have safety pin, attaches with Tamper Seals. In order to activate the System it is necessary to release the pin, to remove it and then to pull the pull station.
The second way is automatic: one of the fusible links (sensors, detectors) melts in the limit temperature they rate for, and this creates a chain reaction, which causes the System to be activated.
When the wet chemical discharges from the agent (cylinder, tank) in kitchen system, it flows from the nozzles and reaches the hot grease or oil and mix with them, what create a foam blanket (Saponification), which isolates the grease Fire from oxygen and eventually causes the fire to be extinguishes. In addition, when the System discharged it shuts off the gas valve. Without any fuel source or oxygen the Fire will be extinguished fast.
The same happens in Industrial System, the only different is the chemical, which is dry powder. The powder will cover the entire area as blanket, which eliminates the oxygen, what will eventually stop the Fire.
Click Here for a simulation video (Windows Media Player Video)
Why is it important that all Hoods maintain clean?
While cooking grease cumulates in the hood, Ducts, Plenums and stainless steel behind the appliances. Even if there are filters to catch all grease; the vapors get inside the Plenums and Ducts. This grease is like gasoline, in high temperature it is combusted. Also it is important to clean all nozzle line, nozzle orifices and caps, in order to keep the System in good operating status.
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