Is a restaurant exhaust system “once and done?”

December 13, 2022

by Nils Deacon, Manager, Inspections and Rating Services

Qualified installation of an adequate exhaust system is vital to safe cooking operations. However, even the best equipment will not be reliable if used improperly, or without regular inspection, testing, and maintenance. Chapter 11 of NFPA 96 provides step-by-step guidance.

The exhaust system should be used anytime cooking equipment is turned on, and should never be used without filters. Openings need to be kept clear. Cooking must cease when either the exhaust system or automatic fire extinguishing system is not operational.

Inspection should be conducted at least every six months, by a qualified automatic extinguishing contractor. This encompasses all parts of the system – hood, ducts, actuation and control components, and more. Fusible links should be replaced at least semiannually, with the date marked on the inspection tag.

DISCLAIMER: This information reflects the interpretation of MSO, Inc. with regard to NFPA Standards and Codes. It does not represent NFPA’s official position on the items discussed.

Cooking line with hood, duct, and automatic extinguishing system.