So, you’re opening a new restaurant or commercial kitchen. It’s an exciting time, but you are probably overwhelmed by the plethora of details that must be taken care of to ensure your kitchen is ready and up to code.
One of these very important details is of course the installation and final acceptance test of your kitchen’s fire suppression system.
If you are feeling a little overwhelmed and confused by the process or are unsure what your responsibilities are, keep reading for a simple explanation of what to expect and how to prepare for both the kitchen suppression system installation and the final acceptance test which will be required before you can open your restaurant.
What to Expect
While likely not what you want to hear, getting the fire suppression system up and running in your restaurant is far more complex than the act of getting it installed. The process will take numerous phases, including preparatory phases for which you will be responsible.
First, you will need to have the kitchen suppression system properly installed, then you will have to call the local fire marshal or AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) to perform a final acceptance test before your restaurant will be approved for opening.
But before either the install or the test can occur, you will have your share of preparation to make sure your kitchen is ready for both.
To simplify the process, you can be break it down into four phases:
- Prepare kitchen for the suppression system installation
- Installation and testing of suppression system by installer
- Prepare kitchen for inspector’s final acceptance testing
- Fire marshal or AHJ performs final acceptance test
Following is what you need to know about how to prepare and what to expect for each:
How to Prepare your Commercial Kitchen for Suppression System Installation
Before a company like Koorsen Fire & Security can arrive and successfully install a commercial kitchen fire suppression system, there are a number of things you must first ensure are in place and ready to go.
Use the checklist below to ensure that your restaurant kitchen is ready for its upcoming suppression system installation:
- Is your hood installed?
- Are all appliances, outlets under the hood, hood and controls hooked up to electrical power?
- Is the gas valve installed and accessible?
- Is there ceiling accessibility directly above the hood?
- Is the pull station location established (Per code, the pull station must be no closer than 10’ but no further than 20’ from the path of egress and must be 42-48” above the finished floor)?
- Is all needed equipment on site and in its appropriate location under the hood?
- If using a wall-mounted system (rather than an end cabinet), is the wall finished where the system will be mounted? This includes paint, tile, FPR, etc.
Once you can check off all of the above, your kitchen is ready for the fire suppression system installation process.
The Final Acceptance Test: What to Expect
Before your restaurant is approved for opening, the kitchen suppression system must undergo a final trip test carried out by either the local fire marshal or AHJ (authority having jurisdiction).
This test will ensure that the system has been properly installed, and that it functions according to the accepted plans, all relevant codes, standards, and manufacturer’s installation and maintenance manuals.
The trip test is a manual test to verify that, when triggered, the control head properly activates the system, that the power and gas shut off underneath the hood, that mechanically supplied make-up air is shut down (if required for the hood), and that the alarm system activates.
Each jurisdiction will have its own unique rules and variations for the final acceptance test, so you will want to familiarize yourself with your local requirements. For these tests, the kitchen fire suppression system installer must be present.
When ready, you are responsible for calling and arranging the inspector’s visit to your kitchen for the final acceptance test.
Prior to scheduling this inspection, however, you will want to ensure that everything is ready. Failure to do so could be costly both in time and finances, as it will certainly delay your opening, and will result in retest fees.
How to Prepare for the Final Acceptance Test
By going through the following check-list, you can rest easy knowing that your kitchen is prepared for the final trip test with the local authority:
- If applicable, is the makeup air fan / HVAC connection connected to the suppression system which will allow it to shut down at time of system discharge?
- Does the electrical power to all appliances and outlets under the hood shut off at the time of system discharge?
- Does the exhaust fan remain on when the system is discharged, or does it come on even if the switch is in the off position during system discharge?
- Is the heat detector/probe in and connected to the fan controls?
- If provided, is the suppression system connected to the building fire alarm (You will need to make sure that the fire alarm system is capable of being tested at the same time as the tests on your kitchen suppression system)?
- Is the gas turned on and the equipment and pilot light connected (the inspector will need to see these turn off when the system discharges)?
- Do you have the appropriate K class fire extinguisher and appropriate ABC fire extinguisher in place?
- Is the heat detector connected to the hood and functioning?
- If one was provided to you, is the room temperature sensor installed?
Once you can check off all of the above, you should be ready for the official final trip test with the inspector.
If you are feeling uncertain about how to prepare for the installation of your commercial kitchen’s fire suppression system or for the final acceptance test, do not hesitate to give the experts at Koorsen Fire & Security a call.
With highly trained and certified engineers and technicians who specialize in commercial kitchen fire suppression systems, they will be able to answer any question you may have.