Food Truck Fire Suppression Systems
Mobile Kitchen Vent Hood Installation and Fire Extinguishers
Food trucks are becoming so popular because the wide variety of foods created in these mobile restaurants allows owners to showcase their menus to the public. They have sprouted up so quickly that local governments are trying to play catch up to create and regulate safety protocols for food trucks. They regulate food handling, safety guidelines, cleaning guidelines, ventilation systems, etc. All of the equipment required to operate a food truck puts you at an extremely high risk of fire, so it is imperative that you take preventative measures by installing a fire suppression system.
When you first set up your food truck you will need to install a ventilated exhaust system. These systems are designed to pull smoke and debris from the kitchen; they help collect the oil and grease that accumulates. An unclean hood system is not only unsanitary but can lead to fires. It required that you have your system professionally cleaned and inspected regularly. If your food truck is running regularly, it is required by the NFPA that your exhaust system is inspected quarterly.
Food Truck Fire Suppression System and Extinguishers
A fire suppression unit is necessary for food truck kitchens. This is an emergency extinguishing system in which fire suppression nozzles are placed under a commercial hood above each piece of cooking equipment with an open flame. If the temperature exceeds a certain amount (normally 450-500) a dry liquid powdered chemical is dispersed and the gas is automatically shut-off. This system includes a K-class fire extinguisher. If the health inspector tells you that you are not required to have a fire suppression system, check with the fire marshal. He is the top dog in this situation. If you choose not to install a suppression system and you travel out of your local area or into another state where it is required, you will not be permitted to open and be shut down before the event has even opened.
Food Truck Fire Safety Basics
Install an automatic fire-suppression system in the truck.
Most of the local and state governments require a fire suppression system to be installed in your food truck because 57% of foodservice business fires involve cooking equipment. These systems are used to disperse flame suppressant chemicals if/when a fire is detected. They also cut off any fuel or electrical current to equipment in order to prevent the fire from spreading.
Schedule regular maintenance on electrical equipment.
Food trucks should regularly have their exhaust hood and fire suppression systems cleaned and maintained.
Have your exhaust system inspected regularly for grease buildup.
The NFPA Fire Code requires quarterly inspections of systems in “high-volume” operations and semi-annual inspections in “moderate-volume” operations. Also, monthly inspections are required for exhaust systems serving solid-fuel cooking equipment such as wood- or charcoal-burning ovens.
Keep portable fire extinguishers as a backup.
It is recommended to keep a K-Class fire extinguisher within easy reach. Keep Class ABC extinguishers elsewhere for all other fires (paper, wood, plastic, electrical, etc.). Tyler Fire provides a wide range of extinguishers, exhaust hood systems, as well as all exhaust hood accessories such as hood filters, canopy hood lights and curbs.
Have Tyler Fire train your staff at your convenience!
- Learn how to find and use a fire extinguisher appropriately: LEARN: PAST – pull out the pin, aim at the base, make a sweeping motion, (be) ten feet away.
- Clean the grease. Since grease buildup can restrict airflow, the hood must be cleaned out often. While doing this, clean walls, work surfaces, fryers, broilers, ranges, grills and convection ovens; vents and filters.
- Remove ashes from wood and charcoal-burning ovens daily. Store paper products, linens, boxes and food away from heat sources. Dispose of soiled rags, trash, cardboard boxes, and wooden pallets daily.
- Use chemicals properly. ONLY use in well-ventilated areas, and never mix chemicals unless directions call for mixing. Immediately clean up any and all chemical spills.
- DON’T throw water on a grease fire. Water will cause grease to splatter, spread and erupt into a huge fire.
- Store flammable liquids correctly. Keep liquids in their original containers or puncture-resistant, sealed containers and attempt to store containers in well-ventilated areas away from combustible supplies, food, food-preparation areas or any flames.
Prepare An Emergency Plan
If a fire breaks out your staff should take control and all employees should safely exit the vehicle and take customers away from the truck.
- Offer emergency training. Allow Tyler Fire to help establish your emergency system training.
- Be prepared to power down. At least one worker per shift should know how to shut off the propane and electrical power in case of an emergency.
- Have an evacuation plan. Designate one worker per shift to be the evacuation manager. That person should be in charge of dialing 911, determining when an evacuation is necessary and ensuring that everyone exits safely.