Why are adequate clearances between deep fat fryers and open flame appliances important?

September 15, 2021

by Nils Deacon, Manager, Inspections and Rating Services

NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operation calls for specific clearances between deep fat fryers and open flame appliances.

Deep fat fryers are very common in commercial cooking operations and are a leading cause of fires in these settings. The fryers operate at very high temperatures—approximately 325- 375 degrees F. They emit grease laden vapors that can be ignited by a nearby open flame. When the baskets that hold the food are inserted and taken out, splashing of the oil can occur, another avenue for ignition.

NFPA 96 calls for 16’’ clearance between the fryer and an open flame appliance fueled by natural gas or propane. This would include gas ranges and char-broilers. If there is insufficient room, a metal shield or tempered glass baffle 8’’ high should be installed.

Minimum clearance for solid fuel appliances is 3 feet.

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.