An Overview of Restaurant Fire Suppression Systems

When you’re running or managing a restaurant, one of your first priorities is the safety of your employees and customers, making it critical to have a working knowledge of the fire suppression systems that are available.

In addition to hand-held fire extinguishers, every restaurant ought to have a fire suppression system that meets their establishment’s particular needs. In this month’s blog, AMC Fire Protection is presenting you with a quick rundown of what you need to know about restaurant fire suppression systems.

How a Restaurant Fire Suppression System Works

Different brands provide slightly different features, though most suppression systems will provide the standard basic features. The suppression system connects to both the hood over the cooking station and the gas line running through; when tripped, the gas line automatically shuts off to kill the fuel source.

Meanwhile, the nozzles on the cooking station hood will discharge a specially designed water-based chemical containing a compound designed to fight grease fires. As the extinguished fire produces a fair amount of smoke, the hood will kick on to remove any smoke from the kitchen.

Different systems will have distinct ways of detecting a fire, so be sure to consider this when choosing your system. Further, make sure that manual activation comes as an option for your restaurant’s unit in case the fire does not trigger the system at a moment of need.

Choosing the System That’s Right for Your Restaurant

Suppression systems come in a broad range of size variants. The system is normally a part of the current kitchen hood. Every six months, your AMC Fire Protection service providers will inspect the system to ensure that it is up to code, and adjust nozzles and make repairs as necessary. While no two restaurants are identical, most kitchens share similar features, making the setup rather simple and customizable to fit your restaurant’s needs.

Ready for your next fire protection system inspection? To ensure that your restaurant’s fire protection system is up to code, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at AMC Fire Protection today by calling us toll-free at 1-877-781-7878.

Preparing Your Business’s Fire Protection System for Winter

Fall marks the season when businesses across the country begin to prepare their facilities for the cold winter weather. From roof repairs to heating system maintenance business owners who operate in areas that experience harsh winters know that it’s better to be safe than sorry. But even with all of the preparation, many business owners forget one of the most important things which is preventive maintenance for their fire protection systems.

As temperatures start to drop, fire sprinkler systems become more vulnerable to freezing pipes which will render them useless if a fire were to occur. Winterizing your fire protection system can not only saves lives in the event of an emergency but also save you from having to foot the bill for costly repairs due to bursting pipes and water damage. If you haven’t already had your fire sprinkler system inspected and tested this year there is still time left for you to have your system professionally maintenanced before winter arrives.

While there is no way to get around having your fire protection system professionally inspected, there are a few steps you can take to prevent yours from freezing this winter.

  • Seal any cracks or holes in walls and roof that can let in cold air
  • Keep the building entrance doors closed when not in use
  • Replace insulation in areas where it is too thin to defend against the cold
  • Periodically check the antifreeze levels in your system to ensure that they are not diluted (if applicable)
  • Routinely check the temperature of your system to ensure that it never falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit

What to Expect From a Professional System Inspection

Depending on which fire protection system your facility has, The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has specific requirements for how often your system needs to be inspected. Some systems need to be inspected weekly while others are required to be inspected either monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, or every five years. When you choose AMC Fire Protection for your facility’s inspection and preventive maintenance service you can expect the following:

  • Comprehensive inspection of your system’s:
    • Valves
    • Gauges
    • Fire department connections
    • Alarms
    • Pipes
    • Sprinkler heads
    • Fittings
    • Water supply
  • Testing of your systems antifreeze fluid (if applicable)
  • Identification and repair of any damaged or non-working parts

Contact AMC Fire Protection today by calling 856-209-5887 or toll-free at 877-781-7878 to schedule preventive maintenance services for your facility’s fire protection system.

Your Guide to Using a Fire Extinguisher in the Workplace

According to the organization OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), the most common emergencies that smaller businesses and commercial enterprises need to plan for are fires. Having a building that is properly equipped with fire extinguishers that are appropriate for the environment’s needs is vital to workplace safety, and could spell the difference between a small and swiftly-dowsed fire and a full-scale building evacuation.

OSHA standards require all employers to properly train their workers in using a fire extinguisher, as well as provide training regarding how to assess the relative danger of a situation and determine whether an evacuation is necessary. OSHA requires employers to provide training in the use of basic fire extinguishers on an annual basis, at the minimum.

However, a quick review from AMC Fire Protection regarding the procedure for using an extinguisher can come in handy, especially for employees who, for whatever reason, have not received appropriate training in their use.

The PASS Method and Safety Protocols

A popular training technique in the use of fire extinguishers is the PASS method:

  • Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher.
  • Aim the hose nozzle low, towards the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the extinguisher handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep the hose nozzle from side to side at the base of the flames until the fire is extinguished.

However, there is more to safely using an extinguisher than just the PASS method. Other critical protocol details establishments are responsible for include:

  • Sounding the fire alarm or calling the local fire department if appropriate.
  • Determining an evacuation route that is safe from flames, smoke, and excessive heat before approaching a fire with an extinguisher. Evacuation routes should never remain blocked.
  • Backing away from the area if the fire flares up again after being extinguished.
  • Evacuating the area if the extinguisher is empty but the fire continues to burn.
  • Evacuating the area if the fire is too large to quell with an extinguisher.

Is your establishment in need of state-of-the-art fire protection systems? To learn more about what AMC Fire Protection can do to protect your property, reach out to our team today by calling 856-209-5887 or toll-free at 877-781-7878.

3 Factors to Consider When Choosing Fire Extinguishers for Your Business

No matter what sort of operation you’re managing, it is vital to have the appropriate fire safety systems properly equipped in your place of business. This doesn’t just mean sprinkler systems, either. Having a supply of fire extinguishers on hand is not only necessary for maintaining a safe environment for the people inside as well as the property itself, but it is also required by law in most establishments.

However, choosing the fire extinguishers that are right for your industrial or commercial operation is not as simple as you may think, and is about more than state fire regulations. Different kinds of fire extinguishers are designed to fight various types of fires.

Have a look at our list of factors to keep in mind as you purchase your fire extinguishers for your building, courtesy of our team here at AMC Fire Protection.

1. Consider the different kinds of fires

As mentioned, different kinds of fire extinguishers exist for different sorts of fires. Fire extinguishers meant for kitchens will not be suitable for stairwells, nor will fire extinguishers intended for hotel lobbies work for electrical wiring.

Fire extinguishers are divided into eight classes, according to the kind of fire they are designed to contain:

  • Water
  • Water Mist
  • Water Spray
  • Foam
  • Dry Powder – Standard
  • Dry Powder – Specialist
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
  • Wet Chemical

Identify which types of fires you should be on the lookout for at your establishment and plan accordingly.

2. Think about the size of the room

Larger and smaller rooms will require different fire extinguisher sizes. A fire extinguisher for a large warehouse will need to be bigger than the sort you would install in a small classroom or the backroom of a diner. With extinguisher sizes ranging from roughly 1.25 lbs. to 250 lbs., you should take note of which size would be most practical and effective.

3. Capabilities of inhabitants

The strength capabilities of the people in the building should also be noted as they can fluctuate according to the kind of establishment you’re running. While a 5 lb. fire extinguisher will be easy for most to handle, a 30 lb. container would be difficult for some to wield or lift.

Are you looking to have top-of-the-line fire protection systems installed in your industrial or commercial establishment? To learn more about what AMC Fire Protection can do for you, reach out to us today by calling 856-209-5887 or toll-free at 877-781-7878.

3 Fire Sprinkler Myths from the Movies

We all know that movies frequently fudge the laws of physics. Usually, it’s to keep the plot going and make it more dramatic, which is why most of us don’t mind when we see cops jump impossible spans between rooftops, villains with revolvers with a seemingly endless bullet supply, and so forth.

Occasionally, though, such blurrings of real life can have real-life consequences. Take sprinkler systems, for example. While it may not stand out as much as seeing a man outrun a locomotive, much of American film tends to misrepresent how fire sprinkler systems really work.

Have a look at our list of common film-inspired sprinkler misconceptions, courtesy of AMC Fire Protection.

#1. You can set off the sprinklers by pulling the fire alarm.

In many films, you will see the hero or villain pull the fire alarm and set off the sprinkler system to create a distraction, enabling them to make a getaway.

The truth is, though, that pulling a fire alarm has nothing to do with the sprinklers. The switch to the fire alarm will activate just that: a warning siren for other people in the building. In fact, pulling the fire alarm won’t even set off the sprinkler in that particular room, let alone the entire building; bringing us to #2.

#2. Setting off one sprinkler will set off all of the sprinklers.

This is another popular film trope. A character will trigger one sprinkler, in turn activating the whole sprinkler system and flooding every room in an office building or skyscraper.

However, in the vast majority of sprinkler systems, only the sprinkler that is triggered will spout water. In other words, it will be restricted to that specific room, not the whole building. Unfortunately, this misconception frequently causes business owners and the managers of office buildings to mistakenly believe that setting off a single sprinkler is dangerous to their property, thinking that if one is set off, it will deluge the whole facility.

So how are fire sprinklers triggered? That leads us to #3.

#3. Smoke will set off a sprinkler.

Contrary to movie depictions, a stream of smoke from a cigar will not trigger a sprinkler. Sprinkler systems utilize either a fusible link or frangible bulb that reacts to the temperature in a room, not to smoke. That means that you don’t need to worry about getting doused by your sprinkler just because you’re cooking in your kitchen.

AMC Fire Protection is dedicated to protecting your life and your property. To learn more about the services we provide, contact AMC Fire Protection today by calling us at  877-781-7878.

Classes of Fire and the Extinguishers to Fight Them

It’s safe to say that most people are familiar with the concept of a fire extinguisher. You know, those red tubular devices mounted on the walls of schools, offices, and pretty much every public building you enter. If you’re prepared, you also have one of these stashed somewhere safe and accessible in your own home.

What many people don’t realize, is that every fire extinguisher is developed with specific fire-fighting capabilities, represented by the label on the extinguisher itself. For preparation’s sake, in the event of an unforeseen fire, it is important to know which extinguishers are the most effective for your particular environment. Do you work with a lot of flammable oils and liquids? Electrical equipment? Chemicals? Working with hazardous equipment and materials like these means you will need a fire extinguisher designed for that particular class of fire.

Classes of Fire

AMC Fire Protection knows the crucial importance of recognizing the difference between the different fire classifications. Different classes of fire call for different types of extinguishers. Review the below classes of fires to familiarize yourself with materials involved in each class.

  • Class A – Fires that involve solid materials such as paper, wood, or textiles
  • Class B – Fires that involve flammable liquids such as diesel, petrol, or oils
  • Class C – Gas fires
  • Class D – Metal fires
  • (Formerly) Class E – Electrical fires (technically not a class of its own anymore)
  • Class K – Fires that involve cooking oils such as in deep-fat fryers

Types of Fire Extinguisher

The label color on your fire extinguisher will tell you exactly what classes of fires the extinguisher is designed to fight. This information is extremely important if you live or work in an environment with hazardous flammables.

  • Water Extinguishers – Water extinguishers provide cost-effective ways to fight Class A fires, those fuelled by solids such as wood, paper, textiles. Water extinguishers have a red label.
  • Foam Extinguishers – Foam extinguishers can be used to fight both Class A and B fires. More versatile than water jet extinguishers, foam extinguishers are most suited for petrol or diesel fires, but can also be used on solids like paper and wood. Foam extinguishers have a cream label.
  • Powder Extinguishers – Powder extinguishers are good for multi-purpose applications. They can be used to fight Class A, B, and C fires. They are also effective for electrical fires, but because powder extinguishers do not cool, they can fail to prevent reignition. Powder extinguishers have a blue label.
  • Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers – Carbon dioxide extinguishers are ideal for places with a lot of electrical equipment, such as offices, server rooms, and computer labs. CO2 extinguishers can also be used on Class B fires involving flammable liquids, as the extinguishers work by smothering the fire and cutting off the supply of oxygen. Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers have a black label.
  • Wet Chemical Extinguishers – Wet chemical extinguishers are highly effective for Class K fires involving cooking fats and oils, such as lard, sunflower oil, olive oil, maize oil, and butter. They can also be used on Class A and Class B fires. Wet chemical extinguishers have a yellow label.

Fire Blankets – Fire blankets are most often used on hot oil fires such as small deep fat fryers and frying pans. They are also used when someone’s clothing has caught fire, cutting off all oxygen.

Take a look at out infographic below for a convenient synopsis on the types of fires and the appropriate extinguisher for each.