Fires tend to occur more in a restaurant than nearly any other kind of business and the biggest fire hazard in a restaurant is its kitchen. Restaurant fires involve cooking equipment, it is important to suppress the fire as quickly as possible. This means the fire can be contained if you have a fire suppression systems installed.

With continual exposure to high heat, fires are able to break out for a range of reasons, extreme cooking heat, flammable oils, along with grease buildup, all pose possible fire hazards to your restaurant.

Restaurant fire protection must be a priority in any restaurant, it’s vital that you have all the standard fire safety equipment in place. Doing this protects you as the restaurant owner, your employees, and your customers. Such fire safety equipment includes having both working fire extinguishers that are up to code (as outlined in the Australian Standard AS 1851) and working fire sprinkler systems that are up to code (as outlined in Australian Standards AS 2118) in place.

In this article, we take a better look at fire sprinkler systems, exactly how they can impact your restaurant, and also what the AS 2118 code requires.
 

What exactly are fire sprinkler systems?

 

Fire Sprinklers

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A fire sprinkler system is a fire suppression system, typical in industrial and commercial buildings, and installed to suppress and combat fires with water.
 

How do they work?

 
A fire sprinkler system works by being automatically triggered if, and when, there is an increase in temperature. This is accomplished by way of a temperature gauge that is constantly working to monitor average temperatures. Anytime the temperature increases, the sprinklers are triggered and water is released. The water, as it’s discharged from the sprinklers, drowns out the surrounding fires.

The sprinkler system’s water attachment is attached to a water pump and piping system. The sprinkler’s piping system is fitted into the ceiling of the building (the part between the ceiling and roof that is invisible to the naked eye while standing in the room) as well as the water spraying fixture being apparent from within the space.
 

Australian Standards AS 2118 Fire Sprinkler Systems Requirements

 

The Australian Standards AS 2118 outlines precisely what it is businesses should do to meet the safety and security, design, installation, and commission requirements for the fire sprinkler systems they install in the workplace.

Fire sprinkler systems should meet basic requirements which include having:

  • A reliable supply of water – Water is a significant part of a sprinkler system. If there is not sufficient water being supplied from a reliable source, then fires will simply not be contained. This would defeat the purpose of having the sprinkler system.
  • Control valves – Control valves are that part of the fire sprinklers used to control the flow of water in the eventuality of a fire. These valves must work for any of the other parts of the sprinkler to do its work.
  • Pumps – In addition to having a sufficient water supply source, it is important that the pumps designed to take water from that water source to the sprinkler head be in good working order. A good working order is providing sufficient pressure to move the water forward to the sprinkler heads if, and when, needed.
  • Pipework – Corroded, blocked, or leaking pipes are a no-no. Like pumps with insufficient pressure, damaged pipes will stop water from effectively getting to the sprinkler heads and combating fires in the event that they occur.
  • Sprinkler heads – Sprinkler heads should be unblocked and responsive so that the water can flow through them if there is a fire. These should regularly be checked for corrosion or calcification, and other signs of damage or blockages.

 

How can fire sprinkler systems benefit your restaurant?

 

restaurant fire risk

Photo Credit: MacDonald Martin

Fire sprinklers are incredibly helpful to your restaurant in several ways that could help you save money. For starters, losing everything in a fire is a devastating blow to any business. Furthermore, studies show that 90% of fires that happen in businesses where there is an automatic fire sprinkler system installed and properly maintained, the fires were controlled and caused minimal damage.

Yes, there is water damage from the fire sprinklers. Nevertheless, the cost pales in comparison to what would take place in the instance of an uncontrolled fire rummaging through your restaurant.

Installing, and maintaining your fire sprinkler system is very important. Now that you understand what fire sprinkler systems are and how they can impact your business, the next step is having them installed and maintained by fire protection system professionals. You can opt to install essentially the most commonly used fire sprinkler system option, known as the wet-fire-water system.

It is easy to install, with installation taking only a couple of hours under a registered and highly experienced professional. By utilizing this option, you can minimize downtime in your business while making your workplace safer for yourself and your employees.

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