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Kitchen Fire Suppression 101


The kitchen is the heart and soul of any restaurant. It’s where the chefs whip up delicious meals for patrons, and the reason the business exists in the first place. However, this most important part of the business can also be a huge fire risk.

About 61% of restaurant fires come from cooking equipment, according to the National Fire Protection Association. This is why proper kitchen fire suppression systems are essential.

Below, learn everything you need to know about kitchen fire suppression systems so that you can keep your kitchen – and staff – as safe as possible.


In general, there are two main components to a commercial kitchen fire suppression system – one part for the hood over the cooking station, and another part for the gas line.

iStock-1464163086If a fire breaks out in a kitchen, the goal is to put out a fire as quickly as possible to prevent it from spreading. And, unlike fires in other places, kitchen fires often have materials like grease or other flammable liquids that cannot be put out with water. Because of this, the fire suppression system in a hood often uses wet chemicals vs. plain water. If the sensors detect a certain level of heat, a series of nozzles in the hood will automatically activate to put out the fire.

Of course, to keep a fire out, you also need a mechanism to cut off the source of fuel. Another critical component of the suppression system is a part that will automatically cut off the gas line in case of a fire.

Finally, the kitchen hood should also be triggered to turn on in a fire to help pull smoke out of the air.

All of these things happen automatically in most systems, but it’s also important to have a manual pull station in commercial kitchens. This is a mechanism that allows you to manually start the fire suppression process at any time. This is so important because grease fires can start out of nowhere and quickly get out of hand. It’s best to have this along with an automatic system, just in case.


Of course, a fire suppression system is only helpful if it works – and this is why proper maintenance is critical.

In general, fire suppression systems should be inspected at least every six months, or any time you make a change to your cooking line. You should also be sure to keep your hood clean in the interim, so that grime and grease don’t interfere with any of the sensors or nozzles.

Generally, fast-food restaurants or 24-hour restaurants should have their cooking hoods professionally cleaned monthly. High-volume kitchens on 24-hour schedules should clean the hoods quarterly. Sit-down restaurants and pizza kitchens should clean their hoods twice a year. And seasonal or low-volume kitchens should have their hoods cleaned once a year.

Of course, more is always fine.

Other fire safety measures

Screenshot 2024-05-23 163854When it comes to fire safety in a commercial kitchen, there are other fire prevention measures that can go a long way in keeping your people and property safe.

Make sure to clean up dirty rags promptly, as greasy rags can be a huge fire risk. Regularly inspect appliances and plugs for wear and tear. Be careful not to overload outlets, and to properly use extension cords. They should never be used by major appliances.

Always keep the appropriate number – and type – of fire extinguishers close at hand, and make sure your staff know how to use them.

If you’re overwhelmed – don’t hesitate to call in a professional. Preferred fire protection partners are here to help you build a custom system that you can trust to keep you safe in case of a fire, so you can get back to focusing on your business.

Tags: fire protection