Could someone please advise as to what are the NFPA96 ventilation requirements for Commercial BBQ Smokers? Is a fire suppression system actually required per NFPA96? It would seem that at the most only a ventilation hood with integrated grease filters would be necessary to manage the smoke and vapors that are coming out of the smoke stack that is located on the top of the unit. Our local Fire Marshall does indeed reference NFPA96 for purposes of performing the building code inspections and driving the associated occupancy permit, but he is uncertain, as am I and the contractors, as to the actual ventilation system requirements. Such uncertainty leaves us with risk I don't want to take given we are still in the final architectural design phase. The cost of including fire suppression systems that are not necessary is not insignificant!
This particular brand of smokers (Cookshack FEC300 and FEC500 Models) incorporate an electronic igniter located within a small fire box into which small amounts of wood pallets are automatically feed and burned. This fire box is isolated from the actual smoking/cooking chamber as the smoker incorporates a large fan to pull and circulate the hot smoke across the proteins within this cooking chamber.