FIA Technical Manager, Rob Thilthorpe examines the importance of interfacing fire protection systems in commercial kitchens
What you need to know
Commercial kitchens can have a lot of fire hazards and risks than need to be minimised, which is why it may be necessary for various fire protection methods to integrate with other systems within the kitchen environment and the building in general. These may include building management systems, kitchen extract fans, and fuel supplies (which often need to be shut off in the event of a fire).
The key issue that often arises is that in this situation, it can be difficult to get all of the systems to connect. This may be down to a number of reasons, such as fear of setting off the fire protection system when working on another system. This could be fuelled by a lack of understanding blended with poor communication about both the relevance and importance of inter-connections between systems.
In order to help solve the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of connecting the various systems, the Fire Industry Association teamed up with CEDA, another association whose members are specialists in design, projects and equipment for the foodservice, catering and hospitality industry.
Collaboration between the FIA’s Services Council and CEDA lead to the creation of a helpful Guidance Note entitled ‘Interface between firefighting systems and other systems in commercial kitchens’, which details the definitions of key terms, the types of systems, how shut down functions should be used, relevant standards, and information about service and maintenance.
The document will help anyone involved in the service and maintenance of systems within a commercial kitchen setting.
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