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     UL-300

What is UL-300?
UL-300 is a kitchen fire suppression standard developed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).  It went into effect on November 21, 1994, due to the changes and increased hazards of new cooking equipment.  These changes were caused by new, more efficient, appliances and
a switch in cooking oils from lard to vegetable oils.  The problem with vegetable oils being used is that their auto-ignition temperature can be as much as 120 degrees higher.  When the discharge of the fire suppression unit comes in contact with the fatty acids of the oil, thick bubbles form on top of the oil, suppressing the fire until the oil drops below the auto-ignition temperature.  Higher auto-ignition temperatures make fires harder to extinguish and can cause the fire to re-ignite spontaneously.  Newer appliances are also better insulated and help keep oils above their auto-ignition temperature, helping the fire last longer.

Do I have to Upgrade to UL-300?
First, you should check with your local AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) for local code requirements.  Many dry chemical systems are outdated and require hydro-testing.  These tanks are not allowed to be refilled and put back into service because they do not comply with UL-300.  Manufacturers also do not supply replacement parts for these systems.  Before it becomes an emergency, we can upgrade the system on your schedule, keeping downtime and expense to a minimum.

What about portable extinguishers?
Another part of the UL-300 is that a Class K fire extinguisher must be on hand.  Having a 40B:C rated sodium bicarbonate is no longer acceptable.  NFPA-10 and NFPA-96 both mandate having a portable extinguisher available in the case of a malfunction of your primary hardware.  One example of when this may be beneficial is when a grease spill occurs out of the range of the hood system.  Dry chemical extinguishers are just not able to remove the amount of heat generated by the new cooking oils and appliances.  While any size extinguisher is acceptable for meeting the code, make sure you have one of our professionals to help you decide what size best suits your safety needs.

What do I need to do when I am ready to upgrade to UL-300?
If you need to upgrade or install a new UL-300 certified fire suppression system the first step is to contact us.  Our experts in fire suppression can help you plan the most effective fire protection for your specific needs.  From portable fire extinguishers to new or upgrading hood suppression systems, we can do it all!

Links
http://www.badgerfire.com/utcfs/Templates/Pages/Template-53/0,8062,pageId=5938&siteId=603,00.html


FEMA Recommended Decision Tree for Servicing Pre-Engineered Systems Protecting Commercial Cooking Operations.
 

Sources
http://www.nafed.org/resources/library/UL300.cfm
http://www.femalifesafety.org/docs/2926-FAQ-UL300&K.pdf

http://www.dps.state.mn.us/FMARSHAL/FireCode/INS20KitchenHoodSystems.pdf