Kitchen Hood Compliance
The commercial kitchen can be a busy place. Whether in a restaurant, hotel, hospital, or school, keeping your kitchen hoods in compliance with NFPA 17A’s testing standard will ensure your kitchen is safe for your staff and patrons and reduce the chance of disaster or costly fines.
To understand the requirements of kitchen hood compliance, let’s first revisit the NFPA standard and the steps taken to install your kitchen hood.
NFPA 17A and the Installation Process
The NFPA 17A standard addresses the design, installation, operation, testing, and maintenance of fixed wet chemical fire extinguishing systems. If you have a commercial kitchen with one of these systems installed, it has likely gone through a rigorous process where plans and specifications were assembled by qualified persons to document the details of the system and its intended operation.
These documents were then provided to a contractor who installed the components as described in the design documentation and verified that everything worked as intended. Piping integrity testing was performed, proper labeling confirmed, interconnection to the building fire alarm in order to verify the proper notification, annunciation and functionality was all confirmed, documented, and signed off by the local Fire Marshal’s office and any other appropriate AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction).
As the owner of the hood system, you are required to inspect, on a monthly basis to ensure that:
- The extinguishing system is in its proper location
- The manual actuators are unobstructed
- The tamper indicators and seals are intact
- The maintenance tag or certificate is in place
- No obvious physical damage or condition exists that might prevent operation
- The pressure gauge(s), if provided, has been inspected physically or electronically to ensure it is in the operable range
- The nozzle blowoff caps, where provided, are intact and undamaged
- The hazard has not changed, including replacement, modification, and relocation of protected equipment
If you find anything wrong, it must be corrected. All maintenance must be done by a qualified service technician. Monthly inspections and all deficiencies that require maintenance must be documented and maintained until the next service interval (6 months) unless your AHJ says differently.
Six Month Inspections
Every 6 months, a certified service technician, who is familiar with the requirements of the manufacturer’s design, installation, and maintenance manual, must perform:
- A check to see that the hazard has not changed
- An examination of all detectors, the expellant gas container(s), the agent container(s), releasing devices, piping, hose assemblies, nozzles, signals, all auxiliary equipment, and the liquid level of all nonpressurized wet chemical containers
- Verification that the agent distribution piping is not obstructed
Further, the system must be thoroughly tested by this qualified service technician in order to provide a high level of confidence that it will perform as intended if activated. All fusible links must be replaced, the old one destroyed. Restorable links must be inspected and functionally tested per the manufacturer’s requirements. If repairs are needed, the system must be tagged until repairs are fully implemented.
All maintenance reports are required to be held and available to the AHJ for at least one year. Upon completion of the semi-annual test, a tag is placed on the system to show that it has been properly maintained. Only the most current shall be displayed.
One More Test
Hydrostatic testing is required for most chemical and auxiliary pressure containers and hose assemblies at least every 12 years. Except for having the duct system cleaned regularly, you are now aware of all the necessary testing and maintenance for a commercial hood system.
PSI can ensure you remain compliant. We provide qualified service technicians to provide all necessary kitchen hood inspection and testing services as well as documentation and can assist in organizing your documentation for easy reference and proof of your compliance with NFPA 17A.
So let’s get cooking! Contact PSI today to schedule your appointment.