Q: Do I have to have all the equipment installed for the system to be installed?
A: Yes - before you fire system can be installed: Hoods and ductwork should be fully installed, appliances in place, and walls complete.
Q: Does a solid fuel appliance need its own fire system, hood, exhaust fan?
A: NFPA 96 requires that a solid fuel appliance have its own exhaust fan and hood but not its own fire system. The exception is that a hood may be shared if it is used with non-grease producing appliances.
Q: For years, having a 40B: C rated sodium bicarbonate extinguisher in my cooking area was acceptable. Why am I now being told to replace it with a new class "K" rated fire extinguisher?
A: The fire hazard has simply changed and become more difficult to control. While the old 40B:C sodium bicarbonate fire extinguisher requirement existed for many years, it is no longer suitable for addressing many of the newer forms of cooking appliances and cooking media formulations commonly found in use today. Dry chemical extinguishers are not effective in removing the tremendous heat that is generated by this type of hazard. The fire can easily reignite or won’t be extinguished at all. Leaving the BC sodium bicarbonate extinguisher in place provides one a FALSE sense of fire safety. The new class “K” rated fire extinguishers are much better suited to properly handle and address the special cooking appliance fire hazards found in commercial kitchens. (For additional information refer to NFPA-10, 17/17A, 96 and ANSI/UL-711 test standard).
Q: How big are my controls?
Here are the sizes for Amerex and Ansul:
- Amerex Control Box 10 x 5 x 12
- Amerex Control Box w/ Tank 20.5 x 11.5 x 28
- Amerex Single Tank Enclosure 14 x 11 x 27
- Ansul Control Box w/Tank 17 x 8 x 24
- Ansul Single Tank Enclosure 9 x 8 x 24
Q: Is a commercial kitchen pre-engineered fire suppression system required to protect the cooking hazard located in my church, town hall, meeting facility or other similar occupancy?
A: Facility size or cooking capacity is NOT a factor and does not negate NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations. It dictates that cooking equipment used in processes producing smoke or grease-laden vapors shall be equipped with an exhaust system that complies with all the equipment and performance requirements of this (NFPA 96) standard. Most states have adopted NFPA 96 through their Building and Fire Prevention Codes. Compliance of these codes and standards includes the installation of a Commercial Kitchen Cooking Pre-engineered Fire Suppression System to protect the hood(s), duct(s) and cooking appliance(s).
Q: What do I need to do to be ready for the fire test?
Fire test requirements are:
- Makeup air fan is connected to the fire system so it will shutdown at the time of system discharge.
- Electrical power to all appliances, including those with no nozzles over them must shutdown at the time of system discharge.
- Exhaust fan must remain on when system discharges or other special requirements must be met.
- Fire system must be connected to the building fire alarm. Fire alarm must be capable of testing at the time of the fire test to demonstrate.
- Gas must be turned on so that the inspector can see it turn off at the time the system discharges.
- In some jurisdictions, there may be a need for a gas company representative to be present at the time of final inspections.
Q: What is a puff / air test, what is a dump test?
A: A puff or air test blows air through the system so that the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction can make sure there are no blocks in the line. In a dump test, the system is discharged with chemical exactly as it would be if there is a fire. This is not covered in the standard program and needs to be quoted.
Q: Where are the wiring diagrams for the fire system?
A: In the Canopy Hood Installation Operation Manual pages 27-31.
Q: Where should my remote pull station be located?
A: A remote pull station should be 42 - 48 inches above the finished floor in the main path of egress, a minimum of 10 feet from the hazard, and a maximum of 20 feet.