NFPA 96: Commercial Cooking Equipment Update

NFPA 96: Commercial Cooking Equipment Update

commercial kitchen fire suppression systemNFPA 96 is the Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, recently receiving a commercial cooking equipment update to the 2017 Edition.  NFPA 1, Chapter 50 addresses the design, installation, inspection, maintenance and operational standards for all public commercial cooking equipment as well as private cooking equipment when used in commercial operations such as college dorms or nursing homes.  With recent updates in 2018, NFPA 1, Ch. 50, mobile and temporary cooking operations are also included. 


Annex B is added to the most recent 2017 NFPA 96: commercial cooking equipment update related to mobile and temporary cooking operations.  While the standard is written in mandatory requirements, enforcement is intended to be on a voluntary basis or as adopted by the authority having jurisdiction.  The Annex includes new requirements on the procedures for the inspection, testing, maintenance and use of equipment. 


Also included in the Annex are the requirements for hoods, clearance, ducts, fire extinguishing systems,  LP-gas, generators, location, carbon monoxide detectors, terminations and training.  One noticeable change with the 2017 edition of NFPA 96 is the requirement on the frequency of employee training on activating the fire extinguishing system and the use of portable fire extinguishers.  Industry studies revealed that employees in many cooking facilities had not received the proper instruction or had forgotten their training which resulted in an inadequate response to a fire.

How Owners Can Stay Compliant to NFPA 96: Commercial Cooking Equipment Update

Owners are ultimately responsible for meeting all provisions of the standard which includes maintaining all cooking equipment, fans, ducts, hoods and fire extinguishing equipment.  Owners are also responsible to ensure that the entire facility is maintained and the proper level of protection is provided.  This includes responsibility for the testing, inspection, cleanliness and maintenance of the fire protection and ventilation control of the entire commercial cooking operation.  Owners can maintain compliance by following a few simple steps, which include:

1)  Review Section 4.2 of NFPA 96: Commercial Cooking Equipment Update.  Exhaust fans, hoods, ducts and grease removal devices must have a clearance of at least 18 inches to combustible materials and 3 inches to limited combustible material.  

2) Clean: keeping your cooking area clean is critical to preventing fires as one in five cooking fires had lack of cleanliness as a contributing factor to the fire, causing ignition.  Cleaning is important to mitigating risk of fire.

3)  Train: all employees should be thoroughly trained on the use of fire extinguishing equipment.  Employees must be aware the location of emergency pull stations, portable fire extinguishers, the fire alarm system and how to use them.

4)  Inspect, Maintain and Test all Equipment:  internal inspections should be performed on a daily basis with employees trained on inspecting cooking equipment, heaters and oil in deep fryers.  If the oil level is too low, the heating coil may be exposed allowing residue oil to catch fire. 

Inspections for grease buildup by a trained, qualified and certified fire inspector acceptable to the AJH is required at specific intervals depending on the type of cooking operation. 

Inspection Requirements from Certified Inspectors

  • Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations-Monthly
  • High volume cooking operations-Quarterly
  • Moderate volume cooking operations-Semi-Annually
  • Low volume cooking operations-Annually


HRSS Offers Certified Inspections of Cooking Equipment

HRSS is a certified and licensed fire and safety systems provider, with in-depth knowledge of NFPA standards including NFPA 96: Commercial Cooking Equipment Update.  We perform inspections on fire suppression equipment to ensure that your operation is code compliant with all local, state and federal regulations.  We perform inspections, testing and maintenance to ensure the safety and protection from fire in your cooking operation.

High Rise Security Systems is a leading fire and safety systems specialists, serving all commercial properties in and around Chicago.  We offer fire alarm system design, inspection, maintenance, testing, repairs and monitoring 24/7/365.  Contact us today to learn more about NFPA code requirements for your operation including the latest updates to NFPA 96.

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