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Top three insurer requirements for fire suppression systems

Fire can pose a significant risk to commercial kitchens, particularly in restaurant and hotel environments. It’s important that clear safeguards are put in place to ensure both your people and the building remain safe, and your business operations experience minimal disruption.

In fact many insurers already require certain precautions are taken. Here are the top 3 requirements that your insurer may ask you for: 

1. Fire extinguishing system

One of the common causes of commercial kitchen fires is sudden combustion of grease laden air in the extraction system. For more than moderate grease extraction a fire suppression system needs to be built into the extraction system.

The cooking appliances, hoods, filters and extraction system must be fitted with a fixed automatic fire extinguishing system. This must be approved by the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) under Loss Prevention Standard 1223: Requirements and Testing Procedures for Approval of Fixed Fire Extinguishing Systems for Catering Equipment.

2. Accredited installation

The system must be designed, installed and maintained by a BAFE SP206 Kitchen Fire Protection Systems accredited installer.

3. System specification

Your insurer may ask you to send them a specification for any installed or proposed kitchen equipment extinguishing system for approval and, unless otherwise agreed, it may need to comply with the following requirements: 

  • Make up/ Supply Air Fans - Make up or supply air fans, internal to the exhaust hood(s) being protected, shall be shut down upon system activation.
  • Sources of fuel and electrical power - Upon activation of any fire extinguishing system for a cooking operation, all sources of fuel and electrical power that produce heat to all equipment requiring protection by that system shall automatically shut off. This will ensure that the fire is suppressed and secured as the system was designed. Failure to disconnect the electrical power or gas supply to the protected equipment could lead to re-flash of the fire, due to continued heating instead of cooling of the overheated grease.
  • Exhaust Fans - Exhaust fans in the ventilating system should be left on. The forced draft of these fans assist the movement of the liquid agent through the ventilating system, thus aiding in the fire suppression process. These fans provide a cooling effect in the plenum and duct after the fire suppression has been discharged. 

Here to help

If you are looking for external support, Marsh Commercial's Risk Management experts have competent fire risk assessors on hand who can complete a fire risk assessment for you. They can provide you with a report identifying and rating the potential risks in priority order to support you to carry out your responsibilities required under UK fire safety legislation.

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