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© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Understanding Commercial Kitchen System Fires Sponsored by the Calgary Fire Department May 28-29,
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Seminar Overview Review of Manual Review of major components of exhaust and suppression systems Investigation techniques Review TOC
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Who are You? Public or Private Fire Investigators Inspectors Contractors Insurance Others
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Restaurants Burn* 1000’s of restaurant fires every year The source of a large portion is the kitchen
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Commercial Kitchen Fire* Many fires are a result of inadequate inspection Beyond Arson or Accident What can be learned?
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Ultimate Goal Our ultimate goal is Fire Prevention Investigation Helps Us… Why did it happen? How? What can be done to prevent it in the future?
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Flare-ups are Instant!
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Ignition Starts Here Nearly all uncontrolled fires will start on the appliances This seminar will consider many possibilities
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Primary Safety Breakdowns Construction Installation Maintenance
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Two Most Common Contributors Clearances to Combustibles Excess Grease Accumulation
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Clearance Failure Failure to keep adequate distances from combustible building materials
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Cooking By-Products Grease vapor accumulation is one of the most serious hazards
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates The Grease Process Grease vapors contain water molecules (steam) mixed with evaporated fats & oils Particles of this mixture are called aerosols
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates The Grease Hazard The higher the temperature, the more grease is transformed into a vapor state As the vapor cools, it condenses into a chemically altered solid state This grease residue (altered oils) is combustible The exhaust system actually becomes a fire hazard
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Grease Categories?? Stir-fry / Deep-fry Element cooked –Broilers –Grills –Stove tops. Etc.
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Solid Fuel Grease Solid fuel is used to charbroil meat Meats creates high volumes of grease. Solid fuel poses the additional problem of ash that mixes with the grease from the meat to create unusually large volumes of buildup.
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Deep Fryer Grease Translucent creosote Frozen food (large amount of water) Shiny appearance Hard as multiple layers of shellac
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Asian Grease Very sticky, syrup- like liquid Honey/molasses consistency
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Grease Buildup on Suppression Systems One of primary causes of malfunction Will not function even if installed correctly Staff must monitor condition Service company called
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates A comparison of block of grease on left to what is under the grease on right. This was the duct protection above a charbroiler. This picture was taken just after the fire- extinguishing system was allegedly serviced.
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Grease on Fire Suppression A completely impacted extinguishing system in the plenum of an oriental kitchen.
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Grease on Nozzle Grease accumulation on a nozzle over a chain broiler.
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Kitchens Burn
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates How Kitchen Fires Can Start/Spread Abnormal event on cooking surface Commonly, cooking oil vapors are ignited by flames or excess heat Flare ups create high flames that reach to the hood and filters If the heat and exposure time are sufficient (approx 2 minutes) Flame impingement will ignite residual grease in hood and exhaust systems
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Fire Spread is Twofold First, ignition of grease accumulation in exhaust system. –Oxygen is always present –Flare up (high temperature) –Flare up from an appliance (source of ignition) –Grease residues evaporate & then (ignite point of ignition)
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Spread Second, ignition of combustible materials (generally wood building materials or cardboard storage containers) too close to the radiant heat energy being emitted from the metal exhaust duct.
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates High air velocity Consistency of grease Lack of flame impingement from original fire Exhaust fan can feed or “blow out” the fire Carbon/oil content & the volume of grease Deny grease fire sufficient energy
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Summary Cooking appliances produce grease laden vapors Exhaust fan draws vapors and room air into the hood & duct exhaust system Grease vapor condenses on the surfaces throughout the exhaust system Appliance malfunction or human error produce flare-ups
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Summary Flame can have sufficient energy to ignite grease residue on filters and hood (~2 min.) Once ignited, several factors will determine severity and continued combustion Fuel and Oxygen are usually the key factors
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Summary If there is sufficient fuel, air movement provided by the fan will supply all the oxygen necessary. Therefore, it is the abundance of fuel (grease) that most often increases the severity of a fire and creates the radiant heat that may ignite building structures.
© 2012 Copyright, Phil Ackland and Associates Review 2 main areas of issue Greater sources of grease accumulation
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