OPINION: Staying ahead of the curve to keep kitchens protected

The Fat Duck

It’s only just beginning to dawn on the industry that aesthetics of a fire suppression system are a critical factor, writes Ian Bartle, managing director at Nobel Fire Systems.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve read a number of articles in the trade press referencing the fact that as commercial kitchens become more open and therefore more visible to customers, the aesthetics of fire suppression systems has become an important issue.

Back in 2003 when Nobel Fire Systems launched what is now the UK’s premier wet chemical kitchen fire suppression system, the award-winning K-Series, the aesthetics of the system was one of our primary considerations.

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In fact, the aesthetic appearance of the system has always played a key role in the design and manufacture of all pipework and nozzles.

Not only that, K-Series was and still is the only fully electrical system on the market. No outdated mechanical technology and certainly no exaggerated pipes and nozzles hanging from the canopy to spoil the overall kitchen design. No dumb systems from Nobel, we have always had full system monitoring and reporting giving both audible and visual indications of both fire and fault conditions.

Of course, the aesthetic appearance of a fire suppression system has to be matched with unrivalled capabilities and protection in the most challenging situations.

Ian Bartle, managing director

Again, Nobel is at the forefront when it comes to providing full protection to all cooking appliances and extract canopies with capabilities uniquely enabling extended ductwork protection from canopy through to building roof level.

That’s why the K-series is now the system of choice for establishments ranging from the world renowned, The Fat Duck restaurant to global QSRs such as KFC.

15 years later and while others are partially getting there, Nobel continues to push the boundaries of technical innovation. Earlier this year, we launched the Avantis range of control panels offering unique touchscreen technology and enhanced monitoring.

This ground-breaking technology is full of features and benefits and will integrate easily into both existing and new kitchen installations. It brings kitchen fire systems even further up to date with options for WiFi, Bluetooth and tablet/phone service apps providing a springboard to maintain that forward momentum which has always been the mantra of Nobel Fire Systems.

So, while we will always concur that kitchen fire suppression systems are first and foremost about safety, reliability and performance, it’s interesting to see that the fire suppression industry is only just beginning to realise that the aesthetics of a system are a critical factor for many owners and operators.

The aesthetic appearance of a fire suppression system has to be matched with unrivalled capabilities and protection in the most challenging situations.

The line between back and front-of-house in restaurant kitchens is no longer clear. Visible, open, kitchens have become the norm and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Kitchen designers have realised that fact for a long time and it’s another reason why Nobel Fire Systems is a preferred supplier to many of the industry’s top consultants and designers. We have complete commitment to ensuring innovative, technologically advanced and high quality fire suppression systems to meet individual needs.

So, while it nice to see that others are beginning to realise the importance of aesthetics and the need for innovative thinking, when it comes to the fire suppression needs of commercial kitchens, it appears that all they’re doing is playing a catch-up game!

Recent claims of “firsts” from some large international companies are a little off the mark. Nobel has been providing the facility for overlapping protection that some call “zone defence” for over 10 years, stainless steel pipework since day one; control panels and detection choice from day one; high range nozzles from day one.

Our intention is to always move the game on and to introduce innovative cutting-edge technology that will continue to provide added value and optimum protection for all customers.

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