NFPA 96 Compliance in Commercial Kitchens

As a leading designer and UK manufacturer of commercial kitchen ventilation systems, we’re here to break down what NFPA 96 compliance means and why it’s essential for your business.

What is NFPA 96?

NFPA 96, or the National Fire Protection Association’s Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, sets the minimum requirements for the design, installation, operation, inspection, and maintenance of all public and private cooking operations. This standard aims to reduce the potential fire hazards associated with cooking equipment and kitchen operations.

nfpa 96

What Types of Commercial Kitchens Does NFPA 96 Apply to?

NFPA 96 applies to all commercial kitchens that use open flame cooking equipment and have a hood and duct system to remove smoke and heat. This includes restaurants, cafeterias, hotel kitchens, food trucks, hospitals, and schools – essentially any place where cooking generates grease laden vapours.

How to Get NFPA 96 Certified?

Looking to get NFPA 96 certified? Here’s a step by step guide on how to achieve compliance.

Step 1: Understand the Scope of NFPA 96

The first step is to familiarise yourself with the NFPA 96 guidelines, which detail everything from hood installation to ductwork and exhaust systems.

Step 2: Design and Install Proper Ventilation

Hood Installation: Install hoods over all commercial cooking equipment to contain heat, smoke, and grease vapours.

Ductwork: Ensure that ducts are designed and installed to effectively capture and exhaust vapours away from the kitchen.

Exhaust System: Use exhaust fans that are appropriately sized and maintained to handle the volume of air required.

nfpa 96 compliance in commercial kitchens

Step 3: Use Approved Equipment

All cooking equipment must meet specific safety standards and should be listed and approved for use. Ensure that all appliances under hoods are approved for that particular type of ventilation system.

Step 4: Install Fire Suppression Systems

Automatic Fire Suppression: Install an automatic fire suppression system within the cooking area. These systems are designed to detect fires and automatically dispense extinguishing agents.

Portable Fire Extinguishers: Place Class K fire extinguishers nearby for immediate response to a fire incident.

fire suppression for commercial kitchens

Step 5: Conduct Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Grease Removal: Clean grease from all parts of the hood, filters, ducts, and fans regularly to prevent grease build up, which is a common fire hazard.

System Checks: Regularly inspect the ventilation and fire suppression systems to ensure they are functioning correctly. Replace filters and repair any parts as necessary.

Step 6: Train Staff on Safety Procedures

Train all kitchen staff on proper cooking techniques, the use of fire suppression equipment, and emergency procedures. Regular drills and training updates can help in maintaining safety standards.

Step 7: Schedule Professional Inspections

Finally, have your kitchen inspected regularly by a qualified professional who can certify NFPA 96 compliance. These inspectors can identify issues that may not be apparent to untrained eyes and suggest corrective measures.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with NFPA 96 can lead to severe consequences, including increased risk of kitchen fires, hefty fines, and even the shutdown of your business operations. It’s not just about meeting legal requirements; it’s about ensuring the safety of your staff and customers.

Approximately 61% of restaurant fires originate from the kitchen, and the majority of these are linked to improper grease management and ventilation issues.

How Can Corsair Engineering Help?

Our expert team can design and manufacture commercial kitchen ventilation systems that meet and exceed NFPA 96 standards, ensuring your kitchen is safe, efficient, and compliant.

We provide bespoke solutions that address the specific needs of your business, helping you navigate the complexities of compliance with ease. Get in touch with us on 01295 267021 for more information or simply fill out the contact form below. We’ll be happy to help.

    What Ventilation is Required in a Commercial Kitchen?

    Ventilation systems play a big role in busy commercial kitchens, and as such, all kitchens are subject to extraction regulations. This article will explore the type of ventilation which is required in these busy cooking spaces and the regulations surrounding it.

    commercial kitchen ventilation system

    Is Ventilation a Requirement for Commercial Kitchens?

    Yes, ventilation is a requirement for commercial kitchens. Proper ventilation is essential to remove heat, smoke, odours, and pollutants generated during cooking processes. Without it, these byproducts can lead to an uncomfortable working environment for the kitchen staff and compromise the quality of the food being prepared.

    Additionally, improper ventilation can lead to the buildup of grease, which can pose fire hazards in commercial kitchens. So, what’s the solution?

    The Importance of Canopy Hoods

    Choosing a high quality canopy hood goes a long way! Canopy hoods are designed to capture and extract grease, smoke, and heat generated during the cooking process.

    Typically suspended over your cooking equipment, canopy hoods use powerful extraction systems to keep your kitchen environment safe and comfortable. Corsair Engineering can manufacture stainless steel canopy hoods in various shapes and sizes, tailored to fit the specific needs of different kitchen setups. We can work with you to:

    • Make sure the canopy hood completely covers your cooking appliances.
    • Choose between ceiling or wall-mounted exhaust hoods.
    • Mount hoods as low as needed for easy access to the equipment by kitchen staff.

    It’s important to note that ventilation in smaller kitchens may be as simple as air supplied via ventilation grills in windows, walls or doors.

    stainless steel canopy hood
    stainless steel canopy hood

    Extraction Regulations in Commercial Kitchens

    Legally, there must be efficient extraction in every commercial kitchen. The following extraction regulations are in place and must be adhered to, to ensure your kitchen is an efficient, safe, and functional working environment.

    The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 – aimed at ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of employees in enclosed workspaces, including commercial kitchens.

    The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 for governing the safe installation and use of gas appliances.

    Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 – states that employers are legally required to provide a safe working environment and conditions that do not pose a threat to employee health.

    Ensure compliance with local health department codes, NFPA 96 standards, and other relevant guidelines. Regular inspections are not just legal obligations; they safeguard your kitchen and staff.

    Did You Know? The first mechanical kitchen ventilation system was invented by Chicago engineer George H. Hovey in 1865.

    Maintenance and Inspection

    Your extraction system should also be maintained and cleaned regularly. Cleaning grease filters, inspecting ductwork for obstructions, and testing airflow rates are essential tasks that should be performed regularly. It’s imperative to keep a detailed record of all cleaning activities, not only for your own reference but also to satisfy the requirements of environmental health officers who regularly inspect catering establishments.

    How Can Corsair Help?

    Drawing from our own experience, we’ve faced many unique challenges in a range of different kitchens. From limited space for ductwork to high temperature cooking, each kitchen demands a tailored approach.

    Corsair Engineering can design and manufacture high quality ventilation systems to ensure your kitchen is compliant and operates at its best, day in and day out. Get in touch with us on 01295 267021 for more information or simply fill out the contact form below. We’ll be happy to help.

      A Guide to Hot Food Servery Units

      Serving food fresh from the kitchen and keeping it at the right temperature can be quite challenging for many commercial caterers. The risks involved if food isn’t maintained properly can prove quite costly otherwise. So what’s the best solution? We’ll guide you through some of the servery units we sell to help keep your food hot (or cold) after it’s been cooked.

      What Equipment is Used to Keep Food Hot?

      Choosing the right commercial food warmer can make a huge difference to how you prepare and transport your food. Whether you run a restaurant or oversee meal services in a hospital or school setting, we’ll explore various types of warming and holding equipment, how each manages your food and the benefits of using each piece.

      powder coated servery unit

      Heated Food Trolleys

      Heated food trolleys offer the perfect solution where service points are situated at a distance from the kitchen. These popular units are designed with highly durable castors for easy and safe transport – ideal for hospitals, hotels, prisons and care homes. 

      The food is kept at a precise temperature until ready to be served and is typically regulated from exterior controls (either manual or digital).

      A commercial hot food trolley makes holding and serving a wide range of foods simple. They are capable of transporting individual plated meals or bulk dishes depending on your requirements. And once you’re done, the stainless steel interior allows for easy emptying, cleaning, and refilling, so you can quickly get back to serving without hassle.

      What do we recommend? – The Challenger Hot Food Trolley

      commercial hot cupboard

      Hot Cupboards

      Much like a heated food trolley, hot cupboards are designed to ensure your hot food items are kept at safe and optimal serving temperatures. They are excellent static storage solutions for plated, pre-cooked meals intended for future service or for accommodating a significant number of plates for large gatherings.

      Hot cupboards are well-insulated, helping to conserve energy and contribute to lower operational costs. They are designed to provide uniform heating throughout the cabinet, ensuring that all parts of the food are kept at the desired temperature. This helps prevent hot spots and uneven heating. 

      Furthermore, an additional Bain Marie topper can be added to retain moisture in foods, helping to maintain the quality and flavour of your dishes. The types of food ideal for this are:

      • Sauces, Gravy and Condiments
      • Soups and Stews
      • Pasta Dishes
      • Vegetables
      • Casseroles
      • Breakfast Items (such as beans and scrambled eggs)

      Many pubs and restaurants tend to opt for hot cupboards due to their practical design, which often includes sliding doors on both sides of the trolley. These ‘pass through points’ provide a quick and easy way for chefs to place freshly prepared meals directly into the cupboard.

      What do we recommend? – Beaumont Hot Cupboard

      hot servery counter

      Carvery Units

      Carvery units are popular choices for catering events and buffets, as they provide a visually striking and practical way to serve large groups efficiently.

      These types of units are typically known for serving freshly carved meats such as roast beef, turkey, ham, lamb and more. Pre-cooked meats can be prepared in advance, and carving is done as needed, reducing the overall wait times for customers – helping to streamline the process of serving large groups.

      What do we recommend? – Cherwell Servery Unit

      How Long Can You Keep Food Warm in a Hot Food Servery Unit?

      Generally, hot food servery units can keep food warm for 2-4 hours. Many commercial units are designed to maintain temperatures above the recommended minimum safe holding temperature of 140°F (60°C) for hot food.

      Preheating the trolley before placing the food inside can help extend the duration for which the food stays warm.

      What if I Need to Keep Food Cool?

      Regeneration ovens are designed to handle both chilled and frozen food. These ovens keep the food chilled during transport and (if required) can then be reheated to a safe and enjoyable serving temperature close to the point of service.

      Get In Touch

      Consider the type of meals you’ll be transporting, where the servery unit needs placing and the number of customers you will be serving to gain a better understanding of what type of equipment you’ll need. We’ve then got the solution to help you keep food at the right temperature, allowing you to maintain high food quality as well as meeting health regulations. Please get in touch with us today if you require further information or for any queries. We will be happy to help.

        Vortex-POD – Fresh Filtered Air Into Your Kitchen

        Do You Need to Get Supply Air Into an Existing Kitchen?

        Current regulations insist on having powered make up air introduced to a kitchen, where gas powered appliances are being used.

        In an existing kitchen that could mean a considerable expensive refurbishment.

        To avoid this, Corsair have developed the Vortex-POD, a self contained supply air unit that is easily fitted into an existing kitchen with the minimum expense and disruption for your client.

        With its own weather cowl, fan unit and integral filtration, this really is a self contained pod, which can be interlocked with the gas interlock system and provides controllable filtered fresh air all in one unit.


        Kitchen ventilation supply air unit

        Link to Literature: POD Brochure

        Link to POD Case Study: Case Study IBIS

        Corsair Supporting the New NHS Nightingale Hospitals – Covid 19

        Corsair and Burlodge Supply Equipment for the New Critical Care Hospitals in the UK: Covid-19 Response

        The two companies are proud to have shipped equipment for the new emergency critical care hospitals dealing with the Covid-19 epidemic; the Nightingale Hospitals in England, the Louisa Jordan in Glasgow and the Dragon’s Heart in Cardiff.

        Burlodge UK is Corsair’s exclusive healthcare partner and their trolleys easily facilitate a complete breakfast and beverage service; crucial at all stages of treatment and recovery.

        hot food trolley

        Whilst many suppliers are closed or operating at much reduced capacity, Corsair and Burlodge continue their manufacturing process to support our NHS at this critical time for our country.

        New Website

        Corsair Engineering invites you to explore our new website! This links back to our new group marketing strategy, so expect lots more to come. For more information on our group, please view the Unitech Group site.

        Our new site has been created with customer experience in mind. It includes many new features to help users quickly and easily navigate the site and find the right product or service that they require.

        Visitors to the site can stay informed with the latest Corsair Engineering updates through the news and case study pages. Please supply us with your email address in the relevant forms so we can keep up to date.

        At Corsair Engineering we aim to make your life easier, so whatever your requirements are get in touch.

        Contact No: 01295 267021

        Why Choose Corsair Engineering?

        At Corsair Engineering, we’re proud to say that over 70 per cent of our output is bespoke.

        Our commitment to providing these unique products, means that distributors can offer their customers the most efficient and cost-effective solution for their particular application, rather than settling for off-the-shelf offerings.

        bespoke stainless steel fabrication

        There are lots of factors that are pivotal to a dealer’s offering: it’s important that they choose the ‘right’ products for the end user. Cost is a big issue for dealers and their customers but they also must take into consideration the cost-benefit properties for the solutions on offer. We are very keen to empahsise the difference between price and cost at Corsair –

        Making a product adjustable makes it much more convenient and versatile for the end user, and therefore should be attractive to the distributor. Corsair offers various types of height adjustment on our products depending on the application.

        For example, we have just made several height-adjustable fish tables for one of the UK’s leading supermarket groups. We also supply a ‘ladder’ system that allows height adjustment of our wall shelving and our racking can be supplied with adjustability using a Corner clamp bracket.

        The Corsair team is well experienced in dealing with other manufacturers in the industry to ensure that our offering is designed to perfectly interface with their equipment.

        commercial dishwasher table

        Dishwash tabling certainly requires close liaison with other manufacturers since the merge between the fabrication and the dishwasher is fundamental to the correct flow within the washup area. We recently made an entry table to fit a scheme incorporating a dishwasher which was from the Ark. There would have been no chance of success on that project without the close interaction between the main parties.

        For more information on Corsair Engineering’s bespoke and adjustable offerings, call 01295 267021 or email

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