Louisville Fire & Safety - Code Updates
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Code Updates
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Code Updates
Fire is one of the worst things to happen to any business. Over the last few years it cost Kentuckiana businesses millions of dollars. Louisville Fire & Safety is here to ensure the worst doesn't happen to you. Continue to refer to this section where we will keep you updated on the fire and safety codes which are most important to you and your business.
Changes in commercial kitchen cooking equipment and cooking techniques prompt new code standards.
The use of low cholesterol, low fat vegetable oils in our nations commercial kitchens and the introductions of high efficiency cooking equipment which are highly insulated and slow to cool has prompted two important code changes which effect anyone involved in the restaurant business. The UL300 Standard that took effect on November 21, 1994 and has set new and more stringent standard for the design and installation of fixed restaurant fire suppression system. Systems which meet this new standard are now required by fire code enforcement authorities and the NFPA standard 96, 17, and 17A which address kitchen exhaust hoods, dry chemical, and liquid agent fire suppression system. In addition to the requirement for installation of systems meeting this standard in new applications it is generally required that existing system be upgraded to comply with this standard when changes to the exhaust or cooking equipment require expansion or re-design of the previously installed system. If you are a restaurant owner or manager it is important that you understand the current status of your fire suppression system and if it does indeed comply with these new requirements. Extensive testing has shown that non-compliant system may fail if expected to combat fires in modern cooking devised using vegetable based cooking oils. Your business could be at risk if your systems are ineffective a combating these more difficult fire conditions.
A New Class of Fire
The research and testing done in establishing the UL300 standard has also prompted authorities and Underwriters Laboratories to adopt a new fire classification and testing protocol for fires involving kitchen cooking equipment and cooking oils. Added this year to the ABC &D we have all come to know as the four classification of fire is the new Class K. Class K fires are fire specifically involving combustible cooking media such as vegetable or animal oils and fats. The new classification recognizes the fact that the previously required regular dry chemical fire extinguishers (40B:C) are not effective in combating fire in these situations. Testing showed that dry chemical fire suppression systems failed to extinguish cooking equipment fires and hand extinguishers using the same agents also proved themselves ineffective. This realization has lead to new code standards requiring the installation of Class K rated fire extinguishers adjacent to all commercial cooking locations. These AK:C rated units provide effective extinguishment of fire in these types of hazards. Is your kitchen properly equipped?
Changes in the NFPA 10 Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers provide improved consumer protection.
In the last update of the NFPA 10 standard a new requirement for Service Collars has been adopted. At specific service intervals and when most extinguisher undergo recharging it is required that the valve be removed and an internal examination be performed. Until now the NFPA 10 standard has required that an internal tag be used to verify this internal examination had been done. The problem with that was the consumer could not verify it unless they emptied the fire extinguisher. This new standard requires the use of an external Verification of Service Collar that is installed between the cylinder and valve of the extinguisher. This collar provides proof that the unit was indeed taken apart and subjected to maintenance. The collar shows the month and year that the extinguisher was broken down for maintenance. What a blessing this new standard is to the end user who now can feel more certain that the proper maintenance is being performed on their fire equipment.
If you have concerns or questions regarding any of these new codes, please contact the fire protection & safety experts at Louisville Fire & Safety.
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