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November 18, 2016 Previous day Next day

We are approaching the "most wonderful time of the year" but also a very dangerous time of the year.  A time full of cooking, heating, holiday lights, candles, and overloaded electrical outlets.  But first, turkey.

Image result for thanksgiving restaurant



Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving by spending hours in the kitchen.  Some enjoy a delicious meal with family and friends at a restaurant and others buy delectable sides and pies and even a turkey already prepared for their festivities. One of my favorite memories as a little kid growing up was the Thanksgiving I spent with my parents on Captiva Island in Florida!


NFPA has regulations that govern the cooking equipment used to prepare your Thanksgiving day feast, whether you enjoy it at a restaurant or buy it from a commercial business to take home.  Chapter 50 of NFPA 1, Fire Code, addresses provisions for commercial cooking and is applicable to the design, installation, operation, inspection, and maintenance of all pubic and private commercial cooking equipment.  This type of equipment is required to comply with Chapter 50 of the Code as well as NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations.  The requirements of Chapter 50 do not apply to residential cooking equipment used for commercial cooking operations and do not apply to cooking equipment located in a single dwelling unit.


For the protection of grease removal devices, hood exhaust plenums and exhaust duct systems, fire-extinguishing systems must be provided.  Any cooking equipment that produces grease-laden vapors and that might be a source of ignition of grease in the hood, grease removal device, or duct shall be protected by fire-extinguishing equipment. Fire-extinguishing equipment includes both automatic fire-extinguishing systems as primary protection and portable fire extinguishers as secondary backup. Automatic fire-extinguishing systems are required to comply with ANSI/UL 300, Standard for Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishing Systems for Protection of Restaurant Cooking Areas, or other equivalent standards and must be installed in accordance with the requirements of the listing


Chapter 50 provides comprehensive provisions for the protection of commercial cooking equipment, more than can be written about here in one post.  In addition to the requirements for fire-extinguishing systems, Chapter 50 and NFPA 96, together, address:

  • Procedures for the use, inspection, testing, and maintenance of equipment
  • Equipment clearance
  • Protection of coverings and enclosure materials.
  • Hood systems
  • Operation of fire-extinguishing systems


Regardless of where or how you enjoy the thanksgiving holiday, staying safe is a priority.  The provisions in NFPA 1 help code officials ensure restaurants and food service operations keep their facilities up to code and their equipment and employees safe for all.


Have a wonderful holiday! (and stay tuned next week for a special Wednesday edition of Fire Code Fridays!)

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Guadalupe Pardo

A fire that occurred at a movie theater in a popular seaside mall in Lima, Perú, on Wednesday appears to have been caused by a short circuit. The theater’s walls, which were reportedly made of highly flammable materials, enabled the fire to spread rapidly. At least four people died in the incident.

Coincidentally, this tragic fire happened while Maria Figueroa, an NFPA instructor, was conducting a training on NFPA 1, Fire Code and NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code® for authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) in Lima this week, reinforcing NFPA´s collaborative fire safety efforts with authorities in Perú.

Many Latin American countries adopt or reference NFPA codes and standards – this serves as the first step toward stronger fire safety levels. However, this week’s theatre fire in Lima reflects the critical importance of jurisdictions enforcing codes and standards to truly reduce the risk and impact of fire on Latin American communities.

Many of NFPA’s codes and standards are available in Spanish and we also offer training throughout the region. Antonio Macías, based in México city, is NFPA’s director for Latin American programs and will be following up with authorities and our members in Lima.

Remembering When Conference 2016

Karen Berard-Reed and the NFPA have officially been recognized by the State Firefighters' and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas and the Texas Fire Marshals' Association for their Remembering When Program as a key program to keep Texans safe. This recognition includes an endorsement of Remembering When as a statewide fire and fall prevention program for older adults.


These recognitions were presented to the NFPA from John Erskine, Burnet, Texas Fire Marshal and Richard Zelade of the State Firefighters Marshals Office. 


Remembering When: A Fire and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults, was developed by NFPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help older adults live safely at home for as long as possible.

Remembering When is centered around 16 key safety messages, eight fire prevention and eight fall prevention, developed by experts from national and local safety organizations as well as through focus group testing in high-fire-risk states.

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