Equipro Worldwide managing director Bert Schultink, who has a long history in assisting restaurants reduce the risk of fires in commercial kitchens, shares his experience about how best to protect your business.

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You have poured your life and soul into your business and the threat of weeks of closure of your operation would cause you to lose more than just sleep at night. Heat and fuel are all very present in a busy kitchen area. The hot fats, oils and heat sources along the cooking range create the perfect opportunity for a fire to take hold and in the UK alone some 2,500 to 3,000 businesses are impacted by a restaurant fire requiring fire brigade intervention every year. 

It’s no secret if the fire brigade is needed to put out the fire the damage is already significant and the threat of downtime and the inability to serve customers becomes very real. When a kitchen fire takes hold, the high energy developing flames and thick black smoke can quickly devour the kitchen and spread via extraction ducts and other flammable materials to other areas. 

The space is quickly consumed and the business out of operation potentially for weeks or months as you get to grapple with the insurance companies and their warranty clauses and exclusions as well as builders and renovators. The impact that would have on your business capability to survive only you would know but there is a way to stop this threat in its tracks and allow you to sleep deep and well at night. Installing an automatic fire detection and suppression system to protect the cooking range can mitigate the risk of fire in a commercial kitchen to an extent any downtime is related to a minor clean up and your operation continues doing business seamlessly – keeping your customers happy.

Quick-action 

A restaurant fire protection system is installed around the cooking range and into the ducts and will detect a fire and activate when it is needed. On activation a special liquid extinguishing agent is discharged from strategically installed nozzles, which are directed at the risk areas. The liquid agent quickly smothers the fire, removing oxygen and heat, suppressing it rapidly – containing the fire to a very small area and reducing damage considerably. All high quality restaurant fire suppression systems manufacturers invest significant research and development spend into ensuring their systems meet global accepted stringent third party testing. That’s why we strongly advise any fire protection solution being considered for protecting your restaurant kitchens must as a minimum possess the UL (Underwriters Laboratory) 300 approval. Anything that doesn’t have this approval has not been independently verified by a third party as fit for purpose. UL testing ensures every component is tested as fit for purpose as a fire protection component prior to undertaking challenging fire detection and extinguishing tests for a variety of scenarios. 

Recommendation 

I recommend Amerex’s Cobra restaurant fire protection system. It is a new (launched in 2016) upgraded fire suppression technology incorporating many unique features and abilities that are head and shoulders above its closest rivals. By meeting all the requirements of the UL 300 approval, Amerex’s Cobra proves it has been rigorously tested for the application and is fit for purpose. Sleek stainless steel throughout the entire system complements contemporary kitchen appliances. Gone are chrome sleeves, unsightly black tubing and red rubber caps that deteriorate. Metal-only nozzles are tucked neatly under the hood 60-inches above cooking surfaces so there is no interference with cooking operations. Cobra is the first commercial kitchen fire suppression system with fully electronic actuation – the New Strike electronic control system (ECS). One ECS can monitor two separate hood systems, can be tied into auxiliary controls such as a building’s alarm system, or connected to the Internet of Things for remote monitoring, and can be placed within 100 feet / 30m of the agent tank for maximum flexibility. As a global preferred partner, Equipro Worldwide is able to supply, service, maintain and install Amerex’s Cobra restaurant fire protection systems nationally and internationally wherever and whenever needed giving you the peace of mind that your business is safeguarded 24-seven by the very latest approved and tested fire suppression technology. Equipro Worldwide is based in the Netherlands and UK. It is a total solutions provider in the fire protection market focused on supplying technology that protects businesses from downtime and loss caused by fire.

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