While the restaurant market has historically relied upon wet chemical fire suppression systems for kitchen protection, the emergence of watermist systems has added fresh impetus to the sector. But it still remains a challenge for resellers of these systems to get their product installed, even with LPS 1223 approval, according to one supplier specialising in the technology.
“There are now a number of different manufacturers who use cylinders, not pumped systems like ourselves, but the development has been slow,” says Lee Haines, key account manager at Hydramist specialist Fireworks Fire Protection.
“The insurers are still the main drivers and they are led by the standards. Insurers and consultants don’t always like change, and sticking with the standard wet chemical systems is sometimes an easier option rather than engaging with new technology.”
Haines insists that while operators might be inclined to source the cheapest fire suppression product they can get away with, it would be much more beneficial to look at the bigger picture.
“The total cost of replacing the kitchen in the event of a fire should be taken into effect,” he says. “The cost of covering all of the appliances and the ongoing costs of maintaining the system should be considered and this will affect the total cost of the system. It is important to look at the cost of the system over the lifetime and not just the initial cost of installation.”