From flammable substances to open flames, every kitchen contains a multitude of fire hazards. It’s little surprise, therefore, that over 45% of all accidental fires recorded last year were started by cooking appliances.
In the blink of an eye, a small grease splatter or an overheated pan can quickly escalate into a dangerous blaze, so it’s important to have the correct fire safety measures in place. But what can be done to reduce the risk of a fire in your kitchen?
This is where kitchen fire suppression systems come in, offering protection against a potentially catastrophic kitchen fire.
But just how do they work? The team at ASCO is here to answer all of your questions.
What are kitchen fire suppression systems?
A kitchen fire suppression system is a device that typically targets a specific cooking appliance; for example, many can be found in the hoods of cookers and deep fat fryers.
They are designed to detect, suppress and control any kitchen fires, responding within seconds to release an extinguishant that douses a fire before it spreads.
How does a kitchen fire suppression system work?
Kitchen fire suppression systems can be activated both automatically and manually.
When the temperature in your kitchen reaches a certain level, it will cause the heat link to fracture.
This heat link is essentially a wire designed to break under intense temperatures and is responsible for initiating the system. Manual activation is also possible via a pull switch.
Once triggered, the suppression agent is quickly released through strategically placed nozzles.
It is dispensed as a mist that successfully cools and smothers the flames whilst covering a wide area. Typically, kitchen fire suppression systems are fitted with a wet chemical extinguishant that is specifically designed for use on Class F fires caused by cooking oil.
Some suppression systems may also have a fuel source shut off, which will automatically disconnect the gas line that supplies the appliance to ensure no further fuel reaches the flames.
What are the benefits of a kitchen fire suppression system?
Fire suppression systems offer a myriad of benefits to any kitchen, including:
- Rapid response: Early detection is crucial for stopping a blaze in its infancy before it spreads out of control. Fire suppression systems quickly initiate a response to prevent escalation and protect both property and people.
- Automatically activated: Whilst your kitchen may have other fire safety equipment present, such as fire blankets and fire extinguishers, these rely on human intervention. In the stress of an emergency, you can’t guarantee that the operator will remember how to correctly use this equipment, so fire suppression systems reduce the risk of human error.
- Cost effective: Preventative measures, such as fire suppression systems, are much cheaper than the cost of replacing your entire kitchen should a fire occur.
- Reduced insurance: As the risk of fire-related losses is significantly reduced, your insurance premiums will likely decrease.
- Minimal downtime: If a fire does occur in your kitchen, a fire suppression system will limit the damage. In commercial kitchens, this allows for normal business operations to resume quickly.
How often do kitchen fire suppression systems need to be maintained?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 establishes that a fire risk assessment must be performed annually in all commercial premises.
During this inspection, all fire safety equipment, including fire suppression systems, will be closely examined to identify any flaws and ensure it is still fit for purpose.
Should any issues arise, these should be rectified as swiftly as possible to ensure your kitchen isn’t left without protection.
Our BAFE-accredited experts are proud to supply, install and maintain a range of leading ANSUL fire suppression systems, including ANSUL R-102.
Get in touch with us today to book your installation.