The president of the NFPA released a few thoughts on the recent fires that have occurred in the last few weeks. He stresses the importance of staying vigilant in our awareness of fire codes. Business owners should hold themselves accountable and not become complacent in regards to fire codes that are in place to protect human life and property. Here’s a video of Jim Pauley’s statement.
In this article by Robert Fiorito, he discusses the importance of day to day awareness in the kitchen. During daily operations, the threat of fire can be a fleeting thought when the restaurant is slammed busy or even in the slower down times. These lapses in awareness allow for the possibility of kitchen fires. Minimizing these lapses comes down to proper training, preventative maintenance, and proper inspection/cleaning schedules. All kitchen fires can be prevented with the proper systems in place. Follow this link to learn more.
Although kitchen exhaust system fans are supposed to be supplied with a hinge kit when installed, we still see a lot of fans without them. Hinge Kits are an important part of the make up of an exhaust fan although it has become an item that is typically not enforced by the authority having jurisdiction in each area. In order to walk you through the importance of the hinge kit, I want to list the three main reasons that you need a hinge kit. Those reasons are listed below.
NFPA 96 18.104.22.168 States that “Approved up-blast fans with motors surrounded by the air stream shall be hinged, supplied with flexible weatherproof electrical cable and service hold-open retainers, and listed for this use.”
Material that the fan is made of:
The up-blast fan on your roof top is made up of spun aluminum. Spun aluminum is a very light weight and pliable material. To give an example of how pliable its is, you can take a pair of pliers and bend the frame.
In order to clean your kitchen exhaust system to code, your exhaust cleaning company has to access the bottom of the blades of the exhaust fan and the vertical duct leading down to the hood in the kitchen. Most cleaning companies try and treat your equipment as if it was there own. However, if your system does not have a hinge kit installed, the technician has to maneuver a 125 plus pound fan off the duct curb that is covered in grease as well as water from the cleaning.
In summary, even with the best of intentions, there are variables that can cause damage to your exhaust fan during the kitchen exhaust cleaning process. Assuring that you have a hinge kit on your exhaust fan will help prevent damage to the fan molding due to normal wear and tear from the exhaust cleaning service, damage to the roof top, and allow your service provider to have the proper access to clean your system properly.
If we can be of any assistance to you please do not hesitate to call at 972-704-1812 or you can visit us at our website at www.thehoodboss.com.
Most restaurant managers are so busy with the demands of the day to day operations inside the kitchen that they unaware of the potential hazards that are occurring on their roof tops. There are a few simple things to look for that can help you assure your fan is up to code and help you avoid potential down time for your restaurant or damage to your exhaust fan.
First, inspect your up-blast fan (or bowl shaped fan) has a hinge kit installed. The Importance of a hinge kit is to allow access to the vertical duct of your exhaust system by allowing the fan to open to a ninety degree angle. This provides proper access to the duct to clean your kitchen exhaust system properly without harming the mechanics or structural integrity of the fan. A typical restaurant exhaust fan weighs around 125lbs and is made of spun aluminum. The material can be bent very easily in the cleaning process even when extreme precaution is taken.
Next, inspect the electrical conduit on your exhaust fan. You want to look for two things. The first is that the electrical conduit is run externally from the duct curb into the fan housing of the fan see photo below.
The importance of this is to insure that the wiring for the fan is not exposed to grease build up within the system and keep the wiring from becoming damaged from taking the fan on and off during the cleaning process. The removal of the exhaust fan during cleanings can cause wiring to become exposed and potentially cause a fire or breaker to trip from metal to metal contact. This can cause costly down time for your restaurant.
Secondly, after you have insured that the wiring is ran externally, you need to inspect the integrity of the wiring. The external wiring should be run through the weather proof conduit to protect it from exposure to rain and grease from the system. See Photo Below
It is very important to make sure that the wiring on your roof top is not exposed to the weather conditions. Wiring that is exposed can cause fires if introduced to grease on the roof top and/or cause the fan to short out at any given time costing your business time and money.
NFPA 96 – 22.214.171.124 states that Rooftop termination shall be arranged with or provided with the following:(8) A hinged up-blast fan supplied with flexible weatherproof electrical cable and service hold-open retainer to permit inspection and cleaning that is listed for commercial cooking equipment.
NFPA 96 – 126.96.36.199 states that – Approved up-blast fans with motors surrounded by the air stream shall be hinged, supplied with flexible weatherproof electrical cable and service hold-open retainers, and listed for this use.