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Environmental Health & Safety

Commercial Cooking Fire Safety Guidelines

Historically commercial cooking operations present fire risks from an ignition standpoint as well as a ready source of pre-heated fuels.  This guideline is intended for commercial cooking appliances such as broilers, woks, griddles, deep fat fryers, etc. 

It is not the intent of this guideline to address appliances such as residential ranges/ovens (typically four (4) burner), microwave ovens, toasters, hot dog warmers, etc.

It is the University's intent to comply with the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Codes and their associated references.

Important:  Commercial cooking equipment shall not be used when exhaust hood suppression systems are not operational (NFPA 96).


Equipment Requirements

  • For all commercial cooking appliances, an approved extinguishing system shall be provided for all grease removal devices, hoods, duct systems and any cooking appliance that may be a source of ignition of the grease in the hoods, grease removal devices and duct system.
  • The fixed extinguishing system shall activate automatically (typically with fusible links located in the hoods and ducts) and at least one (1) manual activation method.
  • All appliances under the protected hood shall have a control method connected to the fire suppression system that upon activation of the suppression system (manual or automatic), all electric power and/or gas supplies to the appliances is shut off.
  • Deep fat fryers must be provided with a separate control that shuts off the power/fuel source to that appliance if excessive temperatures are reached.
  • Dampers are not permitted in exhaust ducts.
  • Mesh filters are not permitted in exhaust ducts.


Portable Fire Extinguishers

  • An approved Class K fire extinguisher shall be provided for hazards involving combustible cooking media (NFPA 10).
  • The Class K fire extinguisher shall not be placed greater than 30 feet away form the hazard (NFPA 10).
  • Prior to the use of the Class K fire extinguisher, the hood fire suppression system shall be activated. This will ensure the power/fuel supply to the appliances has been turned off and will reduce the risk of re-flash.


Inspecting and Testing

  • Every six months, an outside kitchen suppression systems vendor and the EH&S Fire Marshal’s Office will conduct an inspection and test of each kitchen system. This test is intended to prove the operability of the system without discharging the extinguishing agent.
  • Fusible links are changed semi-annually during each test cycle.
  • Instructions for manually operating the hood fire suppression system must be conspicuously posted.
  • Filters and grease removal devices must be cleaned at least every three (3) months for 24 hour operations and every six (6) months for all other applications.
    • NOTE: Cleaning cycles may need to be increased dependant of the grease buildup noticed during the cleaning cycles or if other problems are identified at any time.

Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.

This page last updated 10/19/2011. Disclaimer.