A range of proven fire-suppressant systems are available for commercial kitchen operators that safeguard workers and customers while minimising any possible business disruption.

Any experienced commercial kitchen manager understands the threat – if a fire puts their kitchen out of operation, the business will experience downtime that can have a serious impact on profits.

Given such a risk, it is crucial to understand the fire dangers commercial kitchens face, and what steps can be taken to minimise fallout. Research identifies three primary types of equipment likely to cause such restaurant blazes – deep-fat fryers, cooking ranges and cooking grills. Fryers, for example, use flammable cooking oil that can result in grease build-up in hoods and ducts. If that build-up ignites, it can quickly cause a fire that spreads through the kitchen and beyond.

Consider reputable solutions

On a positive note, pre-engineered installations that combine detection and suppression in a single package are available, including the renowned Amerex KP-PRM restaurant fire-suppression systems, for which Delta Fire is the Australasian distributor.

They use linear pneumatic detection technology and a fast-reaction, low-pH, wet chemical suppression agent that targets cooking fat and grease fires. Tubing is routed through the hood providing continuous detection along the entire length plenum, above the cooking equipment, and is designed to rupture when exposed to a. This discharges the suppressant, while an additional feature of the system is that it interrupts the gas or electrical power to the cooking appliances.

For budget-conscious enterprises that put a premium on the safety of their workers, customers and property assets, it is a viable solution that can minimise downtime from fires.

Among many sites, this system has been successfully used at the 27,400-seat Skilled Park stadium at Robina on Queensland’s Gold Coast, and the RACV Royal Pines Resort at Surfers Paradise that has eight restaurants and bars and which needs protection for hoods, ducts and appliances across all cooking areas. 

Protect staff and customers

In high-profile sites such as The Star casino precinct and the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, other sophisticated kitchen fire-protection systems have been deployed. They are putting their trust in what is arguably the world’s most frequently installed solution, the Ansul R-102 system. It is also a pre-engineered system that meets all the relevant Australian and international standards and which can be retrofitted to existing kitchens.

An automatic system quickly detects and suppresses a kitchen fire before it has time to take hold, using an advanced suppression agent that has three vital characteristics: fast flame knockdown; vapour securement; and the ability to cool hot surfaces and cooking oils. Any post-fire clean-up requires no more than flushing the affected area with water or steam, ensuring the kitchen can get back to full operation quickly. The system does not need manual intervention; it can be triggered automatically or manually.

Engage a supplier with a proven track record

In choosing a supplier of fire-suppression systems, make sure it offers quality products and a high level of service in the form of pre-installation guidance and any advice after the systems have been installed. Opting for second best can be disastrous – from a financial and downtime viewpoint – in sectors such as hospitality.

Aside from the Gold Coast sites, The Star and the Sydney Opera House, Delta Fire Australasia has installed kitchen fire-detection and suppression systems in famous buildings such as the Wildfire Restaurant alongside the city’s Overseas Passenger Terminal, and several eateries at the popular Sydney Fish Market.

Like many other commercial kitchen operators, they have taken the view that the cost of effective kitchen fire-suppression is low compared with the potential lost revenue and expensive repairs that are the inevitable aftermath of an out-of-control fire – not to mention the risk to the lives of staff and diners. 

Delta Fire Australasia specialises in the design, installation and servicing of kitchen fire-suppression systems that safeguard many of the country’s premier restaurant kitchens. Visit www.deltafire.com.au for more details.

Could your business benefit from some expert fire protection advice?