Commercial cooking using solid fuels – fire safety checklist

Commercial cooking operations present a significant fire risk to a business because of the availability of ignition sources (burners), a high fuel-load (fats and grease), the presence of ignition sources (open flames), and the availability of fuel (wood and charcoal).

Solid fuel cooking presents additional exposures beyond those of routine commercial cooking. The following areas of concern should be evaluated:





Are cooking appliances installed in compliance with NFPA 96-2017, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)?




Are hoods and ducts for collecting cooking vapors and residues constructed of steel or equivalent material?




Are solid fuel exhaust hoods separate from other cooking exhaust systems?




Are hoods and ducts vented to the exterior of the building?




Are hoods and ducts provided with an accessible opening for inspection and cleaning?




Are hoods and ducts equipped with easily accessible and removable non-combustible grease filters?




Are grease filters located at least 4 ft. (1.2 m) above the cooking service?




Are exhaust ducts equipped with spark arrestors?




Are spark arrestors located between the appliance and the grease removal system?




Is the air make-up system interlocked with the exhaust system?




Are ash containers made from non-combustible materials equipped with a self-closing lid and limited to a maximum capacity of 20 gallons?




Is a minimum of a 3 ft. (0.9-m) separation maintained between fuels and heat sources (stoves, lights, etc.), with no fuel stored above heat sources?




Are deep-fat fryers, which are not part of the solid fuel cooking appliance, installed with at least a 3 ft. (0.92-m) space between the fryer and any appliance?




Fire protection




Are appliances that produce grease-laden vapors, other than appliances of solid masonry or refractory concrete, protected by a water-based fire extinguishment system?




Are either water-spray (Class 2A) or Class K fire extinguishers provided within 20 ft. (6 m) of solid-fuel cooking appliances and/or solid-fuel storage?




Are employees trained in the use of portable fire extinguishers and water hoses?




Are fire extinguishing systems covered by a service and maintenance program?




Is a water hose, having a delivery rate of at least 5 gpm (19 L/min) at 40 psi (275 kPa), provided for appliances that have a combustion chamber larger than 5 ft.3 (0.14 m3)?




Are hose nozzles limited to only those that cannot produce a straight water stream?






Are employees trained in the safe operation of cooking equipment, including:




  • Combustion of fuel-air mixtures?




  • Explosion hazards?




  • Sources of ignition?




  • Functions of controls and devices?




Are operating instructions for the appliances readily accessible?




Are control valves for auxiliary fuels and systems, such as gas and electric service, readily accessible and in good working condition?




Are solid-fueled, deep-fat frying appliances limited to not more than 1 qt. (0.9 L) of grease or fat?




Are ashes and spent fuels removed from the combustion chamber of appliances at least daily?




Are ashes spread out inside the combustion chamber of the appliance, wet down with water prior to removal, and disposed of in a non-combustible container?




Is fuel storage in the cooking area limited to a one-day supply?




Is fuel storage separated from flammable liquids, foods, and chemical storage?




Is the use of accelerants for starting and fueling prohibited?




Are appliances and systems inspected at least monthly?




Is the combustion chamber of the appliance cleaned (i.e., residue removed down to the chambers surface) and inspected weekly?




Is the appliance’s chimney, including the spark arrestor, inspected weekly for residue, corrosion, and restrictions?


Copyright ©2017, ISO Services, Inc

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries ("The Hanover") specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

LC JAN 2019 12-207
171-0838 (12/18)