1. #1
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    Default Kitchen System Spercialist

    I'm am new to this forum and am looking forward to discussing technical issues and questions regarding kitchen fire suppression systems. I have a very focused background in hood systems and enjoy working with local jurisdictions and customers with problems and questions. I have background in firefighting (military and civilian), EMS, fire prevention and fire training. I am currently working with the largest fire protection service contractor in the Phoenix area and am now their training manager and liason with the local authorities. I welcome any questions mainly pertaining to the true interpretation of fire codes and standards.
    I am now trying my best to flush out all of the faux fire protection companies out there who dont know and dont care how they service fire suppression systems. I can honestly say that 95 percent of all systems will not work as they were designed because of poor quality installation and service.
    I enjoy speaking with individuals with questions and concerns.

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    Welcome.

    Do you find that many hood contractors are either not properly equipped or otherwise unable to perform hood pressure tests (i.e. untrained?)

    I ask, because recently we had a fire in a hood system (hadn't been cleaned in some time, but thats for another thread.....) There was active fire in the hood duct all the way up to the roof vent fan, which was destroyed. It appeared that the fire did not penetrate the duct work at all, but we wanted to be sure. We (Code Enforcement) advised the manager of the restaurant that he could not open back up until a qualified vendor cleaned the ductwork, hoods and filters, and performed the pressure test.

    They worked through the night, and the next day at 11:00am our office received a phone call from the manager asking if we could come over and open them up.

    We went over, and the contractor (one we never heard of, and not from our area) had set up a balloon test. When we asked about the pressure test, he looked at us like we were from mars. Needless to say they didn't open for lunch that day. The guy had to call in, and someone on the other end of the phone finally figured out what we wanted. They sent another guy from their shop (a 2.5 hour drive one way) to do it, but when he got there, realized he forgot some equipment. No dinner hours that night either.

    Finally the next day they had one of their "buddy" companies help them out, and they successfully passed the pressure test.

    Since then, when we have done acceptance tests at two other restaurants, we got that same "deer in the headlight" look when we asked about the pressure test.

    Thoughts? Comments?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    The biggest problem I see with duct cleaning is the entire length of the duct is not cleaned. They do what they can reach, below, the hood, the top, the fan. In between nothing gets done. They issue a report, put a sticker on the hood and you think they did the job. You have to take the next step in your questions. Something like this:

    Insurance Guy: Mr. Owner I see this duct is 5 stories high, how do they clean the 5 story section?

    Mr. Owner: I do not know, they come at night when no one is here. Look here is the sticker, it says everything is OK, and look here is the report, it says everything is OK too, they were here a few months ago.

    Insurance Guy: So do you have any clean outs on any of the floors where they can get into the duct?

    Mr. Owner: I do not know.

    Insurance Guy: Can I call the duct cleaner Co? You have a number??

    Mr. Duct Cleaning Guy: Yea we clean the duct at XCV Company, last time was 2 months ago, we go every 3 months.

    Insurance Guy: So how do you clean the 5 story section of duct between the hood and the fan??

    Mr. Duct Guy: We clean the hood and the fan, we do a real good job, you see my report??

    Insurance Guy: Yea saw your report. So how do you clean the 5 story section of duct between the hood and the fan??

    Mr. Duct Guy:We do not clean that part of the duct.

    Insurance Guy: Why not??

    Mr. Duct Guy: No clean outs in the entire length. Been that way the last 5 years we have been cleaning the duct.

    Insurance Guy: Hello Mr. Underwriter, yea they do not clean the duct, yea 5 stories high, yea at least 5 years.

    You have to ask HOW do you clean the entire length of the duct, not just look for the sticker or report.
    Last edited by InsuranceLCRep; 09-16-2009 at 05:53 AM.
    Fire Sprinklers Save Firefighters’ Lives Too!

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    Starting January 1st, 2010, all ductwork cleaning companies have to be licensed by the State of Massachusetts. This is a result of the the LODD's at the Tai Ho restaurant fire in Boston on August 30th, 2009.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    You have to ask HOW do you clean the entire length of the duct, not just look for the sticker or report.
    I am involved in a huge case right now ($2 million +) where it would have helped if someone had asked that question BEFORE the fire.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    George,

    Can you provide details of the loss?
    How many stories was the duct?
    Did the fire extend from the duct into the building?
    If so how many floors were involved?
    Was the loss more from smoke then fire?
    Any idea if or when the duct was cleaned?
    If the fire started in the cook top, did the fire suppression not work? or was it the case of a dry chemical where a wet chemical should have been used?

    Any details would be helpful to convince the kitchen manager what can happen. I always use the Atlantic City casino fire from about 10 years ago as an example. New stories are always good!

    Thanks

    Tom
    Fire Sprinklers Save Firefighters’ Lives Too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by InsuranceLCRep View Post
    George,

    Can you provide details of the loss?
    How many stories was the duct?
    Did the fire extend from the duct into the building?
    If so how many floors were involved?
    Was the loss more from smoke then fire?
    Any idea if or when the duct was cleaned?
    If the fire started in the cook top, did the fire suppression not work? or was it the case of a dry chemical where a wet chemical should have been used?

    Any details would be helpful to convince the kitchen manager what can happen. I always use the Atlantic City casino fire from about 10 years ago as an example. New stories are always good!

    Thanks

    Tom
    The case is in litigation, so I have to be vague.

    One story duct. Old system. No welded seams. Fire spread to the ****loft and took out the entire section of the building as well as part of a two story exposure. Fire suppression system was not modified when a new appliance was installed. Fire started in hood, got by the system due to the cookline configuration. Duct was allegedly cleaned, however, invest. revealed that they only cleaned the sections of the duct that they could reach-probably about 25% of the duct.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Thanks George
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    if you have not seen this site, you would be very helpful for questions on it::::



    http://inspectpa.com/phpbb/index.php


    AND IT IS FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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    Default Kitchen Hood and Duct Cleaning

    I can cite NFPA 96 till I am blue in the face. Not if it is going to go but only when.

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