Kitchen Suppression Systems
UL 300 In 1994, Underwriters Laboratory (UL) issued a new standard, UL 300, for the fire testing of fire suppression systems protecting commercial cooking operations. The two changes in commercial food preparation techniques that had the biggest impact on revising the fire test standard were the change from animal fats for frying foods to the use of vegetable oils, and the introduction of "energy efficient" cooking appliances. Vegetable oils burn at a higher temperature than animal fats and energy efficient cooking appliances, like those found in "high-efficiency" fryers, help keep fires hotter for a longer period of time. Commercial cooking fires had gotten more difficult to extinguish over time. UL redesigned its test standard to better reflect current cooking conditions and to reflect "worst case" fire suppression scenarios. As a result, no fire suppression system manufacturers submitted their older, Dry Chemical Kitchen Systems for testing under the UL 300 standard. Since 1994, most of these manufacturers have withdrawn their support of Dry Chemical Kitchen Systems, resulting in a lack of repair parts, proper recharge chemical and technical support.