It’s not just a restaurant; it’s a work of art!

Very few restaurants still base their appeal strictly on the quality and range of the menu on offer. Whether it’s a stand alone restaurant or one that’s say part of a hotel environment, food has become an art and the restaurant space is the gallery in which its masterpieces are displayed and served says Ian Bartle, MD of Nobel Fire Systems

To this end, restaurants are placing huge importance on the ‘look’ and even the ‘feel’ of their establishments using creative design to ensure that diners enjoy a memorable ambiance as well as outstanding food. For those that do it best the rewards are clear.

And it’s not just front of house that matters. As we all know, one of the biggest investments that any restaurant will face is that of designing and fitting out the kitchen.

The design and layout of a restaurant kitchen varies of course depending on the available space. One trend that we’re seeing a lot of is that of minimalist design where the restaurant kitchen is often on view to diners and makes a clear statement of quality and intent. In these cases it’s essential that the kitchen design mirrors that of the restaurant and that the equipment is both practical and sympathetic in design terms to the rest of the restaurant environment.

A critical part of any commercial kitchen design must include that of fire protection but as we’ve already discussed, in increasing instances it’s also imperative that while the system installed has the ability to meet the most stringent fire protection requirements, it also maintains the aesthetics provided by the rest of the high quality kitchen equipment.

Many traditional fire suppression systems require ugly pipework that either runs along walls and ceilings or alternatively has to be boxed in. These systems also tend to display cheap looking copper or brass plated nozzles that usually protrude through the kitchen’s canopy or vented ceiling and certainly don’t meet the aspirations of talented designers or their ambitious clients.

Another point worth making is that in any commercial kitchen it’s not just the hot oils and naked flames that cause the high fire risk. Research carried out by the Heating and Ventilation Contractors’ Association (HVCA) shows that almost 25% of fires in commercial properties can be attributed to ‘cooking appliances’, often through problems in the kitchen extract systems and ventilation ductwork.

Grease and other residue builds up within the system and this then leads to the coating igniting with the consequence of a much larger fire breaking out. The result, particularly in a multiple usage building, can lead to the endangering of lives and substantial damage to property.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order is the biggest single change ever made to UK fire safety legislation and calls for fire risk assessment to be carried out by a ‘competent person’ who acts on behalf of a responsible building owner or manager. So everyone in the catering industry is involved, like it or not!

In theory, the FSO should have had a major impact on the way in which Catering Industry conducts its responsibilities in terms of fire safety issues, and in many ways it has. However, it’s no longer a case of just thinking in terms of employee safety. With so many commercial kitchens now being located in building that have multiple usage, fire protection procedures must be considered with regard to the whole building.

So what’s the answer? Well, restaurant owners and managers need to ensure they have a fire suppression system fitted that’s specifically designed for commercial kitchens and protects both the cooking area/appliances and the ductwork on a permanent basis. Ideally it should provide fire risk cover from the last nozzle at the extract plenum downstream along the entire length of the ductwork to the extract fan and/or point of extract to the external environment. And where ductwork goes beyond 5m or in multiple occupancy buildings, this isn’t just desirable, it’s essential.

At Nobel the entire focus is on fire suppression technologies for special risk environments and the company has built a winning reputation within the global catering industry. Nobel believes passionately that early fire detection and fast effective suppression can save lives, and property. They take pride in providing a seamless customer experience, from survey to installation, through to maintenance, ensuring all fire protection needs are catered for throughout the life cycle of the system.
The in-house design team and installation engineers ensure quality control is maximised and thousands of existing customers in the catering industry are testimony to the effectiveness of Nobel’s service and product capabilities.

That’s why businesses like Claridge’s, Caprice Holdings Group, Jamie Oliver, Holiday Inn, and many other famous brands continue to install the industry leading K-Series fire suppression systems in their kitchens. Aesthetic appeal, reliability, flexibility of product and people, global reputation, and the award winning K-Series system with its extended ductwork protection capability are some of the key reasons why the company has become the acknowledged fire suppression market leader for catering businesses across the globe.

Modern fire suppression technology can provide efficient and cost-effective fire protection for just about any application in the catering sector. Carrying out the initial survey and subsequent installation work is however a specialist task, so the use of an established supplier with all the appropriate credentials is the only route to take.

For more information contact, Ben Parker at Nobel Fire Systems Ltd.

Phone: +44 (0)1706 625 777

Foodservice Consultant is not responsible for the content of company product announcements



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