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    Restaurant Systems: Quarterly Operational Review

    By Mark Conroy


    Fire extinguishing systems protecting commercial cooking operations require proper care for them to work as intended. The system owner is responsible for performing a monthly “quick-check” inspection, while a fire equipment service technician performs regular semi-annual maintenance, including operational testing and replacement of certain critical parts. Both the monthly inspections and the 6-month maintenance are required by NFPA 17A, Standard for Wet Chemical Extinguishing Systems. Every six months might be too long for some systems to go unchecked. Consider offering a quarterly review of the system operational condition. This is a service that will help ensure system operational safety.

    Inspection Item
      Maintenance tag is in place and system was serviced within past 6 months
      Protected cooking appliances are in their designated locations
      Protected appliances have not been replaced or altered
      Extinguishing system is in its proper location
      Manual actuators are unobstructed and operational
      Tamper seals are installed and unbroken
      Stored pressure cylinder pressure gauge is in the operable range
      Agent cylinders or agent containers and expellant gas cylinders are not damaged or corroded
      Nozzles are aligned and unobstructed
      Nozzle orifices show no sign of internal blockage
      Nozzle caps or foils are in place and undamaged
      Actuation links are not excessively loaded with grease
      Link detection line, link brackets, and linkage scissors are not excessively loaded with grease
      Releasing devices are in proper working order
      Corner pulleys are aligned and undamaged
      Piping remains as installed and undamaged
      Hose assemblies have no cracks or other damage
      Conduit and fittings are undamaged and are not excessively loaded with grease
      Visual signals are operational

    The advantage of having a fire system service technician perform the quarterly operational review is that any deficiencies identified can immediately be remedied by replacing damaged or problematic parts. Additionally, all work done by a service technician is performed in accordance with NFPA requirements and the service manuals, using replacement parts intended for the system. Also some work necessitates recharging and resetting the system, which can only be done by a service technician.

    During the next 6-month service call to perform system maintenance, inform the owner that he is ultimately responsible for the care and use of the system. Offer to perform the quarterly operational review of the system. When this service is performed by a trained and qualified service technician, the owner is assured that the system will be operational and will be ready for use in the event of a fire.

    Mark Conroy is an engineer in our Boston office and a member of the NFPA 17/17A Technical Committee. Copyright © 2016, all rights reserved.

    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above Tech Series article are the author’s only and provide limited information. Although the information is believed to be reliable, Brooks Equipment expressly disclaims any warranty with respect to the information and any liability for errors or omissions. The user of this article or the product(s) is responsible for verifying theinformation’s accuracy from all available sources, including the product manufacturer. The authority having jurisdiction should be contacted for code interpretations.


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