Amongst all types of businesses, catering businesses pose the highest incidences of fire risk. Whether that's a fast food restaurant or a Michelin starred venue, all kitchens that cook with oil pose a high fire risk. With a reliance on round the clock use of high-heat sources combined with combustible by-products such as fats, oils and grease, the risk of fire is significant.
If a grease-fire starts in a kitchen, applying water literally adds fuel to the fire, spreading it quickly through ductwork and the kitchen itself. Using extinguishers can render food and service equipment within the kitchen unsafe as soon as they are used, meaning lost capital and a cost to the business.
One solution many venues turn to are fire-suppression systems. Fire suppression systems are used in the kitchen exhaust as a way of preventing a kitchen fire from spreading once it has started.
How a Fire Suppression System Works
The purpose of a fire suppression system is to tackle the first stages of a fire - either on the cooking station itself or within the canopy - and to prevent it from spreading further into the extract system.
The system has a connection, a 'fusable link', to both the cooker hood/ canopy and the gas supply at the cooking station.
If a fire is detected, the fusable link automatically cuts off the gas supply, and therefore stopping the fuel source for the fire.
Some systems include a backup suppression process with nozzles in the canopy that disperse a fire suppressing liquid if activated - specifically for grease fires, which will continue to burn even when the fuel source is cut off.
The Impact of FOG
In theory, fire suppression systems are a valuable part of a fire-risk management strategy in any commercial kitchen.
However, if there is a build-up of fats, oils and greases within the kitchen extract system, and in particular on the fusable link itself, this will hinder the system's ability to detect a fire, therefore rendering it useless.
This is why it is essential to actively keep your kitchen extract free from the build-up of grease, rather than simply relying on fire protection systems. Without proper maintenance and cleanliness of the kitchen extract, fire suppression systems and other fire protection measures can be disabled under the volume of grease residues.
How Vent AIR Can Help
Vent AIR is not a 'fit and forget' concept. Post installation, we carry out a bespoke service plan, tailored to your kitchen-usage, to regularly inspect your entire kitchen extraction system for unsafe grease buildup.
We don't just make sure the visible areas are gleaming. Vent AIR disperses Vent cleaning liquid along the route of the ductwork, including bends, corners and risers; dissolving the grease as it travels.
There is no greasy hiding place - Vent AIR is able to reach the darkest ductwork corner, with a dispersal method that means all surfaces within the extract are targeted, including fusable links and other fire protection devices.
Our regular inspection checks are carried out in accordance with TR19 guidance, section 7 which makes reference to a 'defined and measurable level of cleanliness' in kitchen extract systems in order for the kitchen to be deemed safe.