Commercial kitchen fire suppression systems can be viewed as the ‘necessary evil’ of equipment – kit that every professional cooking environment must have, but that no-one would ever want to use.

However, dealers must take these systems into account when designing and specifying catering areas, and therefore must stay abreast of the latest technology available.

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According to Ian Bartle, MD of manufacturer Nobel Fire Systems the biggest change to the market over the past few years is the number of systems available.

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“This not only encompasses wet chemical liquids but high pressure water mist systems as well,” he said.

“Wet chemical continues to dominate the market, as it is much more cost effective to install. As from the standpoint of evolution, some systems have stood still, whereas others move the technology forward to ensure European and British standards and expectations on system monitoring are included.”

Stuart Rye, MD, at supplier FSE Fire Safety Systems believes that the demand for water mist type systems for restaurants has increased, driven by insurance companies.

“Whilst we, like other companies, are waiting to see whether this new mist technology will catch on, these types of systems have some additional benefits over the traditional wet chemical systems such as Ansul and Amerex,” he commented.

“The benefits of water mist systems are that they are more environmentally friendly on discharge, offer total hood protection (as against appliance specific protection) and have cheaper refilling costs following discharge – the overriding factor in an extremely competitive market. However these types of systems cost more to install.”