If your restaurant or commercial kitchen is older than 20 years, you’re probably in need of a fire suppression system upgrade to meet UL 300 requirements and ensure your cooking equipment is truly protected from today’s hotter oils and better-insulated appliances.
As of January 1, 2014, standards written by the National Fire Protection Association require all kitchen systems must be UL 300-compliant. You can find out more about UL 300 requirements in our previous post “UL 300: Good Reasons to Upgrade in Your Kitchen.”
The updated NFPA standard creates much greater urgency for anyone currently not meeting the criteria.
“What happens is that states adopt the NFPA standards, and those become part of the code,” said Stan Oman, pre-engineered systems trainer for Koorsen Fire & Security. “At that point, restaurant owners have no choice in the matter, but what happens if everybody waits? Then there aren’t enough hours in the day for technicians to upgrade those systems that need it.”
The greater danger remains a false sense of security from having an out-of-date fire suppression system.
“Restaurant owners are busy, and they know they have a fire system on the wall and hope everything’s fine,” Oman said. “But the fact is that every manufacturer of systems before UL 300 had to test their system with the newer cooking equipment, and every system failed.”
The newer standards require wet-chemical systems, more nozzles, and a manual pull station. (You can read more about UL 300 specifications here.)
Make sure you’re keeping you business, customers, and employees safe; make sure you’re compliant. If your system hasn’t been upgraded in 20 years, there’s no more time for sitting on the fence about an upgrade.