Ansul suppliers talk business

Both Assured Fire & Security and Global Fire & Security systems are suppliers of Ansul R-102 restaurant fire suppression systems.

According to Assured’s MD, Simon Stokes: “Ansul products protect more foodservice kitchens than any other brand. This integrity and reliability fits with Assured’s criteria for suppliers.

“Comprehensive engineer training, in-depth suppression system design courses and standards to meet to certify and approve each new installation are just some of the procedures that we have to comply with to be an approved installer. Unapproved companies cannot install or even source Ansul fire suppression equipment, so distributors must ensure the company they deal with is fully approved.”

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The Ansul R-102 systems are chemical-based. Stokes believes: “The foam formed provides excellent flame coverage, cools the surface of the fire quickly and secures it to minimise spread. The tough soap-like blanket that it creates also helps to prevent flammable vapours being released and reigniting.”

However, he conceded: “The only disadvantage we find with this system is the post-fire cleanup. To re-enable the system, the area needs to be flushed with water or steam. However, the advantages of the system far outweigh this in my opinion. The fact that a fire can be quickly suppressed with minimal risk of spread to other areas is the most important factor.”

Stokes stated that system specifications are driven by the end user’s insurance company’s requirements, adding: “We also need to ensure the system meets NFPA standards and provides the best level of protection for the equipment it is safeguarding. Any system not installed to NFPA standards may invalidate a client’s insurance policy.”

Assured has a dedicated technical review team which meets on a monthly basis to review and test any new systems and technologies before deciding whether to incorporate them into its product portfolio.

At Global, business development manager, Peter Szatter, says that the firm supplies Ansul systems as: “It fits into our portfolio of premium life safety products. It is a robust, purely mechanical system that does not rely on other services (electrical or water supply) to provide 24 hour protection for commercial kitchens. [[page-break]]

“The Ansul system is pre-engineered and has UL300 accreditation – this requires that all grease producing cooking appliances (fryers, ranges, salamander grills, chargrills, woks etc.) are type tested under real fire scenarios. Ansul also has LPS1223 approval which assumes protection for other grease producing appliances will work based on testing fryers only.”

He said that no watermist system has yet been successful in meeting the requirements of UL300. “The R102 wet chemical system operates locally, keeping all waste material in and around the kitchen extraction canopy, aiding clean up time.

"Whereas there is a concern that following a discharge of a water system, the vapour may carry grease and other waste products from a fire all around the kitchen, elongating clean up time.

“Watermist systems need supplies of water and electricity. This complicates installations by involving multiple trades, and if the water or electrical supply is isolated at the time of a fire then the system would not work.”

He suggested that dealers should insist on a system that meets the UL300 standard. “This way, dealers can rest assured that the system they specified is the best possible solution against the risk of fire, and any risk assessment would show this.

“Global provides a rapid call out response ensuring that kitchens can be up and running within 4 hours following a discharge. Dealers need to take account ongoing maintenance and response times to ensure continuity of business.”

He cautioned: “A number of kitchen fire suppression systems are closed protocol, with the manufacturer having a monopoly of supply and on-going maintenance. Monopoly power generally results in higher cost of maintenance, and service levels may drop as the end user cannot go elsewhere when they have a problem.”

Global is currently developing statistics on payback periods for installing fire suppression systems, taking into account reduced risk insurance policies and other contributions. Szatter concluded: “We hope to not only provide end users a fire safety system that protects their life, business and property but also one that is a viable, cost effective option.”

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