When we look at NFPA 96, section 1.1.4 tells us when the standard applies or more accurately when it doesn't apply. In the list of four items that must be "true" to not require the application of 96 are:
(1) only residential appliances
(2) fire extinguishers properly located and complying with NFPA 10
(3) the facility is not an assembly occupancy
(4) approval of the AHJ
My question is if all of the above are true, does the occupancy not need an NFPA 96 compliant hood? Sounds like a stupid question right? But, when we look at small restaurants with an occupant load of under 50, they are classified as Mercantile Occupancies, thus not assembly. So if a small restaurant, convenience store, whatever is not an assembly occupancy and they use only residential appliances, and have the right extinguishers, and the AHJ says OK? Is that really the intent?
The annex and commentary speak to infrequent uses or non-traditional kitchen uses: break room warming, daycare centers warming bottles, churches not cooing meals that produce grease-laden vapor (although likely they're assembly?)
To complicate this, NFPA 101, section 188.8.131.52 says commercial cooking operations must meet 9.2.3 which sends us to NFPA 96. Does this mean once you get to 96 you overlook section 1.1.4?