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Mar 28, 2022

Welcome to episode 49 of Fire Code Tech. On this episode we are speaking about everything kitchen fire suppression with Adam Walker. Adam Walker has been with Johnson Controls for 14 years. He currently serves as the global product manager for ANSUL and PYRO-CHEM restaurant fire protection products. Walker is a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and is a committee member for NFPA 17: Standard for Dry Chemical Extinguishing Systems, NFPA 17A: Standard for Wet Chemical Extinguishing Systems, and NFPA 96: Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations. 



Hello, all welcome to the show. I'm Gus Gagliardi, and this is fire code tech on fire code tech. We interview fire protection professionals from all different careers and backgrounds in order to provide insight and a resource for those in the field. My goal is to help you become a more informed fire protection.

Professional fire code tech has interviews with engineers and researchers, fire marshals, and insurance professionals, and highlights topics like codes and standards, engineering systems, professional development, and trending topics in the industry. So if you're someone who wants to know more about fire protection or the fascinating stories of those who are in the field, you're in the right place.

Hello, all welcome to episode 49, a fire code tech on this episode, we're speaking with Adam Walker. Adam is a career professional in kitchen fire suppression and has been with Johnson controls for over 14 years. He's the global product manager for Ansel and power Kim for restaurant fire protection products.

Adam sits on the technical committees for N FDA 17 and FDA 17 a and in FDA 96, that's wet chemical extinguishing systems, dry chemical extinguishing systems. And fire protection for commercial cooking operations. In this episode, we talk about everything. Kitchen fire, suppress. Adam breaks into codes and standards, technical committee procedures.

And also we talk about what is the cutting edge of kitchen fire suppression. We also bring it back to basics in this episode and speak to what are the different types of kitchen fire suppression systems and their actuation methods. Really enjoyed this episode, Adam is encyclopedic in his knowledge about kitchen fire suppression.

If you wanna help out the show, don't forget to subscribe and follow us on social media. Hit that like button. If you're watching on YouTube, let's get into the show. Adam, thank you so much for coming on the show. Welcome fire code tech. Yeah, guys. Thanks for having me. Awesome. Well, I wanted to get started with, um, you telling the listeners a little bit about your background and how you got into fire life safety.

Yeah. Um, you know, it, it started in high school. Um, we had a, a local college that had a program for fire protection engineering, um, and, and they would do kind of show and tells at the various high schools. Had a lot of family in the business being local, um, peaked some interest. So I, I, I followed it and, and here we are today.

So I, I went through that program, um, and then continued on through business as well. Gotcha. Gotcha. Makes sense. Yeah. So like what kind of, um, so you went to school at, was it, uh, what program was it? Was it the Maryland program? No, it was in, uh, little old Marinette Wisconsin, about 60 miles north of green bay, right on the Michigan border.

Um, and it is the only fire protection engineering technology, um, associates program in the world. So we had. Students from all over the globe that would come and attend this program. Um, and, and then they moved it to the green bay, Wisconsin campus. Um, and then due to lack of enrollment have postponed that program.

Oh man, it's unfortunate. It's uh, so few opportunities to go and get a formal education about fire protection, whether it be technology or in engineering. That's sad to hear that. Yeah, absolutely. It was, uh, it, it was a huge, um, progression for it. It was a huge opportunity for Ansel, um, being located where we are, um, Marnet Wisconsin with that tech school right around the corner.

Right. We could get a ton of graduates as employees in the field and essentially hit the ground running. Yeah. It's, uh, I went to school at Oklahoma state university and there's just so few technology programs. I mean, um, across the states, I mean, there's just a handful. So, uh, think there should really be some more of those programs, sad to see that that one didn't pan out.

Yeah, absolutely. But I wanted to ask you about, you know, Your work history a little bit. Uh, could you gimme a little bit of background on, uh, some of the roles that you've held during your time, um, in your career? Yeah, so I, I kind of alluded to my education a little bit there. Right. So right outta high school went into the fire protection engineering program.

Um, started at Ansel, um, in our technical services. Focused on restaurant fire suppression for both the Ansel and pyro chem brands. So I would provide our, our customers with design assistance, technical troubleshooting, design questions, uh, submittal assistance, et cetera. Um, and, and did that for about seven and a half years.

Um, During that, um, I, I was enrolled for business as I also stated earlier, um, and then transitioned essentially over to our product management group. Um, so I've been in this area also about seven and a half years. So coming up on 15 with the company, um, and responsible for our restaurant portfolio globally, uh, with the Ansel and pyro chem brands.

Um, spent some time focused on the sustaining type initiatives, you know, the things that keep the lights on, um, and, and now have sustaining and, and also our NPI focus. Um, so what development opportunities we might have across the globe, what is, uh, NPI stand for? I know anything about sustaining initiatives?

Would you mind elaborating on that? Yeah, sure. So the sustaining type things would be, um, Modifications to existing products, um, product enhancements, basically any changes to essentially existing products. Um, and, and then the MPI would be the development type approach or new product introductions. Um, so ground up development, whether it be technology or, uh, application, um, hazard type, whatever that might be.

Interesting. So it seems like you've really seen the full circle of, you know, technical solutions, business development, and kinda new product launch research seems like you have had a full spectrum of, uh, what kitchen fire suppression has to offer. Yeah. It's, it's been a good career path and progression.

Um, so far I've been able, like you said, been very fortunate to see many different sides of the business. Understanding what our customers need and want, um, understanding what the business needs and wants are. Um, and just driving solutions for all the. Makes sense. Makes sense. Well, yeah, I feel like that's a great preface for our, our conversation on kitchen fire suppression, but, um, for the listeners, I always like to start at just like the roots, the base elements of what system or technical topic we're talking about.

So yeah, I'd love to hear your thoughts on kinda the different, um, types of. Kitchen suppression systems or, you know, broad categories. Um, yeah. Would you speak about these systems? Yeah, so as it relates to kitchen fire suppression and, and talking specifically around commercial applications, um, all about protection of the cooking hazards.

So the appliance cooking surfaces, the duck and plenum area. So the filtration and then the exiting duct work and any secondary filtration. Um, historically there had been dry chemical systems, um, and new codes and standards have obsoleted them. Um, they're, they're not able to pass the current test protocol by the testing agencies, um, which then I.

Wet chemical systems. Um, what chemical have been been around quite a while. Um, and there there's several different manufacturers and types of products on the market. Um, couple high level would be a, a standard wet chemical system where you just have a set amount of agent and it's a, a one and done right.

It discharges. What capacity of tank you. um, and all of that goes through the UL protocols and extinguishes or suppresses the fire and then holds it out for a period of time. Um, another type of product would be a hybrid type system, uh, which would be, uh, an agent followed up by water, essentially. Um, so those, those are really the, the high level overarching types of systems.

Um, As we look at how those kind of break out into different approaches, um, many of the different products on the market, um, have what's called. Hazard specific protection. Yeah, really what I wanted to ask in, follow up, I appreciate that exposition on like, you know, what Kim drag Kim and kind the broad types.

Um, but really I wanted, what I wanted to ask before we kind of proceeded was what's the benefit of that hybrid system with. Water, uh, in conjunction with that wet chemical agent. Uh, yeah. What do you see as advantages or, or considerations for that kinda of system? Yeah. Um, so a hybrid type product, specifically a system, um, that type of a product.

Has the agent capacity and then it's followed up immediately by water for cooling. Um, so some of the benefits of that is number one, it cools 15 times faster than a standard what chemical system. Um, in addition, it uses less agent, um, and it also has some protection benefits. Um, so larger protection areas per Nozz.

Interesting. Very interesting. I, uh, I wasn't aware of that hybrid type system. Yeah. So I wanted to break into, um, some more design features of kitchen fire suppression, and just, uh, ask you, you know, what kind of different approaches or considerations can. Um, use in order to give the user or the operator flexibility and, or kinda like modular design with kitchen fire expression.

Yeah. So when we look at protection of appliances, um, we always have to take into account couple different factors. Um, some of those factors being. The, the chef's height, the chef's tolerance and ability to cook, right. Without nozzles and pipe drops in their way. Um, so typically you're looking to get your nozzles as high as you can tucked up in the hood out of the way of the chef, the there's many different types of hoods as it relates to proximity.

Um, so some low profile hoods where your nozzles have to be lower to the hazard or closer to the hazard area. Um, some canopy type hoods that Mount on the ceiling or even ceiling ventilation, uh, where the entire ceiling in the facility is ventilation equipment and filtration, uh, where you want your nozzles to be as high as the ceiling height.

Uh, so many different approaches as we look at that factor. Um, and then something else that we offer is called overlapping protection. So overlapping protection, um, has nozzles. Set at specific spacings, um, puts in certain criteria, right? As far as the hazard size, that can be protected by that nozzle spacing.

And it allows the appliances to be exchanged, moved around. Um, at any point, if they hire a different chef or the chef changes the preferences, the, the appliance line needs to shift and they could, they could not have to make nozzle. Shifts or changes if they had overlapping because it's, it's more of a blanket type approach and coverage where that whole area is covered.

Yeah. That makes sense. I wanted ask about, you know, as far as like trade coordination, The installation and or design of these systems, what all like engineering disciplines or like kinda utility connections. Are you looking for, for one of these kitchen suppression? It seems like. Definitely you'd be working with, um, mechanicals and electricals to get it powered and, you know, fire protection to, uh, wire up the fire alarm.

But yeah, I'd like to hear about, you know, what all you view is design considerations when looking at a space programmatically for implementing a hood. Yeah. So. When, when a hood is installed, um, and fire suppression is needed. Um, and or at the time of hood installation, when, when they're looking to connect the fire system or install a fire system, um, it's, it's essentially all the same trades.

Um, no matter what the fire system or product is, and no matter what they're protecting or connecting to it is just where. Things are specifically connected. Um, so you walk into a commercial kitchen. You're, you're gonna have codes that require you to have fuel shutdown. So whether it be electric or gas, you're gonna have to have that fuel shutdown.

You're gonna have to have energy shut for heating elements, um, electricity, some jurisdictions require lights in the hood to be shut down. Fans to turn on or shut off depending if it's makeup, air or exhaust. Um, so when we look at trades associated to that, you're, you're gonna have typically a plumber. Um, if you're having a, a mechanical or an electrical gas valve installed.

So if you have gas fueled appliances, you're gonna have that approach. Um, you're going to have an electrician depending if the system needs electricity to operate, or if there's. Electrical shutdown, um, triggering of electronics, whatever that might be. And then you may also need a low voltage alarm technician.

If you're landing wires on a, a building management system, uh, fire alarm control panel, or anything of such. So those are really the, the high level trades that you're gonna need for installing a fire system. Awesome. Yeah, I appreciate that. Um, I wanted to ask you, I read a interesting article and I'll link to it down the show notes for people to go read if they would like, but about that, you wrote about how COVID has impacted kitchen, fire, suppression design.

And I really wanted to hear from you, you. How have you seen COVID change what we're seeing in kitchen, fire suppression. And also what I thought was really interesting, those kind of like broader the COVID was, um, operations, like Uber eats and DoorDash and these type of things, these quote unquote ghost kitchens.

So yeah. I'd love to hear about, um, yeah. What you're seeing in that regard. Yeah. So COVID impact, you know, It accelerated a lot of things. It, it changed a lot of things. It, it, it just shifted some, some topics, right. And one of those being ghost kitchens specifically, um, so the application where you have a large facility and you might have 40 different hood systems or kitchens inside of that facility, and you have 40 different.

Uh, restaurants under that roof, right? Each of the 40 different kitchen systems, uh, has a different restaurant. And the value of that is you can go pick up food from multiple different restaurants with actually without having to stop it, all of them, um, or an Uber eats can go there and pick up food, right.

And deliver it to various residents. Um, Depending on what they want to eat on the other side, the, the chains or the, the mom and pop or whatever the restaurant under that roof is doesn't have to have a brick and mortar, uh, store and the cost associated to such. So those were around, um, pre COVID, but C absolutely accelerated the growth and, and use of them.

Um, so as we worked through COVID and, and still are in many cases, um, people are resistant to go out and eat. Um, they don't wanna be around others as much. Um, I think some of that's opening up now, but we're still seeing it. Um, and I don't think it's gonna go away. Um, people have seen the value of not having to spend time on cooking and not having to spend time on eating.

By sitting down at a restaurant, they can have the value of both by just picking up food or having it delivered. Um, so that's definitely a shift in being accelerated by COVID another one being food trucks. Um, a lot of food trucks were around prior, but again, accelerated through COVID. Um, people are able to just stop and grab a bite to eat outside, not having to go in inside.

potential exposures, more likely to occur or whatever that might be. Uh, but they, they tend to feel more comfortable outside in, in an open air atmosphere. Um, so. A lot of growth there. And again, I think we'll see that continue to grow as well. Very interesting. Yeah. I guess I never thought about the, um, idea of having so many different operations under one roof.

That's a very interesting concept. I was really just thinking of like, Uh, how Uber eats and door dash kinda changed that equation of the eating experience. But yeah, there's some good points to bring up about, uh, Uber eats and food trucks changing the landscape of changing the landscape of the eating experience and, and also the fire and life safety hazard.

So I wanted to talk to you about, it seems like it's a commonly, um, Misattributed or misdesigned factor for kitchen fire suppression systems, but, um, yeah. Would you speak about the difference between class one and class two hoods because I've commonly seen them uh miscategorized or, you know, misapplied yeah.

Type one hoods, um, really specific to grease type applications, grease, laid, and vapors. Uh, many appliances that are, are gonna be creating those things, um, and, and type two really designed for extraction of heat and steam. Um, so, you know, what's the difference is why is it so important that you use the appropriate hood for the application?

Um, construction, design requirements, design criteria. Um, so thickness of the stainless steel welded, sea construction, um, ventilation, so filters and ducting, et cetera. Um, all of those are specific criteria and requirements on the applicable type of hood. Um, so when you have a type one priest producing type hood, you're gonna also have fire suppression in that, um, type two hoods, typically do not.

However, some cases, uh, authorities want to see it. If they have some steam or heat producing appliances that they're gonna be cooking in, um, but are not necessarily a ranger of fryer. I see. I see. It's commonly when you're working on. You know, kitchen design and it's the, the owner maybe wanted to argue it's, uh, more of a residential type application, but yeah, I've seen that as a common point of confusion or, you know, just, uh, an education piece for the owner a lot of times.

So I appreciate you speaking on that. Yeah. I, uh, always love talking about the, the codes and standards. Associated with the different fire and life safety topics. Would you, would you give, uh, an, an overview of what kinda codes and standards there are on kitchen fire suppression? Yeah, there's, there's a couple that are applicable.

Um, and, and, you know, it's, it's all regional based. So speaking specifically for the us environment, um, with NFPA 96, which is the standard for ventilation control. Fire protection of commercial cooking operations. Um, that standard is really focused on the ventilation aspect of the system. You know, the hood construction, hood installation requirements, stuff like that.

Um, but there is a chapter in there that's focused on fire suppression. Um, and then if we look at the, the actual fire suppression standard, um, we have NFPA 17 a, which is the standard for wet chemical extinguishing. Um, and that standard is really going to provide a lot of insight on, um, requirements of the system.

You know, you have to have manual automatic activation, simultaneous operations, stuff like that. Um, it's gonna clearly identify a lot of those requirements and then kind of the overarching, you know, the building code, um, that that's really gonna provide a little lot of insight. What needs to be done, how it needs to be done and, and just more generic approach of the overall design installation of a building.

Yeah. It seems like, uh, not as well versed, but, um, 17, like has cash, um, big impact on these systems and their components for commercial cooking operations. And. I understand that you have some involvement with the, the standards production process. I, I would be interested in hearing about that. Yeah, correct.

Uh, I'm a, um, principal committee member voting member for NFPA 17, 17 a and also N F P 96. Um, so sit on those committees. Um, we, we, you know, take the public input. Um, vote on it as a committee to incorporate it in the standard or not why we should, why we shouldn't, um, and you know, just common sense and data driven decisions on what's good.

What changes are needed for the industry. Um, as we look at different things that might occur, um, throughout the cycle process, things that we might need to include in the body, the standard that's not there. Um, but makes sense from a life Sandy life safety standpoint, um, those are things that we evaluate and, and talk about and vote on.

That makes sense. How long have you been involved in the committee process? Um, I've been involved in the process. Um, initially started as a, a sideline attendee, just a guest in the room. Um, then that went into. Becoming an alternate, uh, and a couple of the standards and then became principal on essentially both of them.

And, um, over the duration, probably about eight to nine years in total. Wow. Nice. What, uh, it seems like on, you know, standards progression, um, you know, depending on the, how. Uh, detailed the standard is there can be, seems like huge progression year to year or, you know, kind tweaks and changes clarifications on some years.

But yeah. What kind changes have you seen during your time on the C?

Um, you're right. It, it varies year by year. Um, typically it's a, a three to four year. Cycle, uh, between start of the cycle and, and completion of the addition. Um, and, and through those cycles, we've, we've seen like the evolution of food trucks, um, how we need to incorporate specific things. Um, there was a, the terrible propane explosion, um, which prompted some additional safety clauses to be added in.

And then some more section. Um, and then on 17 a where it's a wet chemical standard. Um, we chemical as a whole, right? Not just restaurant fire suppression. So then we look at different types of wet chemical suppression across different categories, whether it be vehicle fire suppression. Um, so we look at incorporating.

Those types of hazards into the standard as well. So it seems like, you know, looking at data from. Uh, organizations like N FPA kitchens are, uh, you know, a really common place for, for fire to start. Like, how does that impact? It seems like you have a, a pretty broad perspective for, um, the nature of the hazard in these kind of occupancies and different spaces.

So, um, yeah. How does that impact the, like the design and the, and the, and the considerations for. Um, these facilities that you're working in. Yeah. When, when we look at a fire suppression system, um, so the actual application, the coverages, the functionality operation of the system is all driven by the test standard, right?

So that would be the UL document or the NC standard. Um, UL 300 is the restaurant test standard. And all of that is going to dictate on how and what you need to test. Um, so that that's assuring that the system is gonna work. Um, and then when you look at a standard, such as N F P a 17, a and 96, they're going to tell you.

This is what you need to have. You have to have manual actuation, you have to have automatic actuation. You have to have battery backup if it's electronic or redundant, feasible link detection. Um, so, you know, it's, it's really mandating how it's applied. Um, and, and what requirements are there. Whereas the, the UL standard is already determined that your system is appropriate and tested in accordance to that anti standard.

That makes sense. Um, I wanted to, to about, uh, the different actuation methods, cause it seems like there is at least a couple different types. Um, since you mentioned actuation manual and automatic in little, uh, piece of talk about the, the two different types of actuation and just kind of, you know, and I understand there's like mechanical and electronic and you also, you know, mentioned manual.

If you could talk about that and like, you know, kind of what those look like functionally for these systems. Yeah. So when, when we talk about actuation of, of the system, um, there there's essentially two types, right? There's automatic and manual. Um, both of which can be electronic or mechanical. So automatic being the detection method, whatever technology and type you're using, um, and then manual being.

Physically somebody manually actuating it, whether they're pulling or pushing something, um, pushing a button, whatever that might be, um, all of which are essentially gonna have the same outcome. Um, so a couple different types of systems on the market would be a cartridge operated approach or a stored pressure type product.

Um, and they're gonna have the same outcome. Like I said, the agent is gonna be expelled through the nozzles discharging onto the hazard surface. Um, but the, the means for doing that, so detector detects temperature triggers the system either opens a valve or punctures, a cartridge pressurizes the tank, or allows the agent to flow comes out of the nozzles and, and suppresses the.

And essentially the same would occur in the event of a pull or a mechanical or a manual operation. Um, you're actuating it intentionally or unintentionally, uh, by accident, right. Um, cart pushes into it, whatever that might be. Um, but the, the system operates in the same fashion. So either opens a valve or punctures, a cartridge, pressurizes the tank, or let's the agent flow.

Out to the piping network and out of the nozzles onto the surface. Nice. That makes sense. I wanted to speak to you about, um, inspection, testing and maintenance for these systems, because it seems like this is a topic that can be crucial for the proper activation and the just longevity of this kind of fire suppression application.

Um, yeah. Would you speak about like common maintenance or testing or inspection, um, features or considerations for these systems? Yeah. Each manufacturer is gonna have a, a, a set list of items, um, that have to occur some of that mandated by N FPA standards. Some of it mandated by UL standards. Um, And, and really essentially what it comes down to is you're having to test the operation of the system and look for any type of defects depending on what the interval is.

So semi-annually, you're, you're changing or testing depending on what type of detection technology you have. Um, you're you're checking agent levels or weights or pressures, Wayne cartridges. If present, um, testing the poll stations. Ability to function. So you're, you're either pulling it or pushing it or pushing a button, whatever it it offers.

Um, and then you you're really just going through the entire workings of the system. Right. You're making sure that the, the fuel shut down is operating as it should, whether it be mechanical or electrical shut. Um, and then you have various components depending on what manufacturer. That have to be replaced at those intervals.

So you talked a little bit about, you know, integrating with building automation systems. But, uh, yeah, I just wanted to question you a little bit more on, you know, how these systems kinda interface with fire alarm panels or, uh, building automation systems. What does that typically look like? Yeah, it depends on, on the system.

Um, generally speaking, there's a, there's a contact closure device in the system that has the ability to. Send a signal of some type to a fire alarm control panel or a, a building control panel. Um, one type of a technology development is the info red product that has the ability to incorporate up to 16 different hazard zones back to one centralized display unit.

Um, so you have a real time status. All the different hazards. If there's a trouble, if there's an alarm, if there's a discharge, a supervisory, whatever that might be back to that centralized location, and also has the ability to connect to these building fire alarm panels. So if you have a, a building fire alarm panel, that's monitoring the entire facility, you can also tap into that as well.

Nice. Yeah, that sounds like a very, uh, interesting system type with the, you know, kind of zone detection. Um, I wanted to ask you, you know, like what kind technology or features can give owners some additional options for asset protection? Yeah. I just touched on it, uh, briefly that, so our, our new product ANFL red.

Stands for restaurant electric detection, um, is front of its game as far as ability for scalability, uh, real time alerts. So giving those end users, owner operators a sense of security, knowing that their system is up and running, know that everything is working properly, um, identifies those critical maintenance intervals that we just talked about.

It gives alerts, Hey, this is coming due for maintenance. Get this prepared, et cetera, so that they can plan, um, for an upcoming type maintenance, um, technology is being able to react to fire, whether it be quicker, uh, whether it be different types of hazards or multiple hazards all back into the same single system.

Interesting. Yeah, that definitely sounds like a, a more, uh, smart, like, uh, internet of things, approach to kitchen, fire expression. I haven't, um, had a chance to see, uh, like how new is this product? It seems like it's pretty cutting. Yeah. It's been on the market for about two years now. Okay. So pretty good.

Cool. Well, um, what kinda, you know, if, if you wanna give an owner like some different thresholds of protection or like, Uh, tiers of delivery, like what are the kind of different options in a system that you see as an escalation of like protection or, you know, uh, how would you articulate, um, different.

Protection approaches or, you know, like how would you take a client from the, like the Cadillac option? So it sounds like, you know, the smart technology and the zone of detection and suppression is, you know, kinda high, but yeah. Be interested in hearing how you would, um, go through that process. Yeah. It's a lot of understanding what, what the end user or owner operator's looking for.

um, so when, when we look at like a, a red approach that it can be used for a single hood application, or it can be used for a 16 hood application, um, we have a lot of installs of both and, and both work grade and, and the end users are very happy with their investment in it. Um, When you might take a different approach and you look at a wet chemical system, that's where you have to, to make your decision.

So whether it be a steroid pressure or a cartridge operated system, um, there's trade offs as it relates to coverages. Um, there's not. One that has a gamut of coverages that are better than the other. Um, but certain applications offer better protection schemes or more coverage per nozzle. Um, and then obviously the we'll say a step up would be the overlapping option where you can have all of the appliances shift as you need it without having to make modifications to the appliance lineup or.

The nozzle line rather. Um, what do you see as you know, are there things technology wise on the horizon that you're excited about? You know, you talked a little bit about how you're new or your most recent role kind, um, like development or technology G kinda, uh, Research procedures, but yeah. Is there anything that's you see on the horizon or maybe five, 10 years out that you are excited about in this kinda technology realm?

You know, there's a lot of excitement in the industry and, and it pertains to new technology development and also new cooking technologies. Um, so. Things are becoming more efficient. Um, you might be using less oils, but wanna have the same taste or you wanna cook it faster or you wanna have less pollution.

Uh, so a, a lot of, a lot of great things happening, um, different parts of the world, but specifically in the us, all of the above that I just mentioned and, and all of that is exciting as it relates to, we get to be tasked. How can we protect these changing appliance cooking technologies? That makes sense.

It seems like, uh, you know, uh, people are pushing the envelope more than ever now with, um, getting creative with cooking and kind of, you know, see people doing this molecular astronomy type of thing on the, on the internet. And so I could imagine how that would present. Unique hazards and, and unique applications.

So we talked a little bit about and what COVID has done, but I wanted to get a sense from you about broadly in the industry, what you see as trends or topics that you have your. Um, a lot of it, believe it or not is, is the same things as, as the COVID trends. Um, the ghost kitchens that it's growing greatly, um, everywhere.

They're, they're seeing the value of having multiple facilities under one roof. And again, not having to have that brick and mortar cost, um, food trucks. on the increase, right? That that's been happening for years. Don't see it stopping, um, a lot of self-contained type approaches, products, um, front of house cooking, some more aesthetically pleasing environments where, um, the chef might be cooking on the other side of the glass or right under a hood in front of all of the patrons that are eating.

So a lot of those type applications. Interesting. Yeah. That makes sense. So, you know, you spoke about your, uh, involvement with N and the committees and standards process, but, um, are there other professional societies that you're involved with and, um, what kind, you know, uh, can you speak to the, the value of those different professional organizations?

Um, um, also. Certified through NSET, um, national Institute, a certification engineering technologies, um, and, and there's various categories under them. Uh, fire alarm, special hazards, sprinklers. Um, and there's, there's a lot of merit to that. Um, as it relates to ensuring that. The installing person or persons, um, meet certain criteria, have been trained on different products.

And just to make sure that the, the installation is gonna go in accordance with whatever codes or whatever mandates there are alongside of all manufacturers requirements. Yeah, that's a great tip. I said is a, is a big deal. Um, especially for people who are looking to provide a. Professional, uh, edge in their career.

They wanna use accreditation for, um, career and professional development. Yeah, for sure. Um, yeah. So seems like you are very well informed on, you know, special hazards and kitchen fire suppression, but where do you like to go to, um, you know, brush up on, uh, technical content or resources? You know, it really depends on what the topic is.

I, I obviously spend a lot of time with NFPA involvement, which drives me to different studies, as it relates to industry trends, cooking type of trends, whatever those type of additional or new changing hazards are. Um, and there's a whole list of those types of. Websites or magazines that I use. Um, and then as it relates to building codes, um, we, we have the building code document and we can review all of the updates and the changes and make, make, uh, recommendations where needed, um, As it relates to specific products.

Um, so when we look to our, um, AJS fire marshals that are looking to gather insight on, on products, you know, technical data sheets, technical literature, um, us specifically, we obviously., um, which is a, a great resource for all of the, up to date technical literature on all of our products, not just restaurant, fire suppression, like you said.

Um, then we also have two other sites that are critical. So one of 'em being spec, um, S P C And on that website, we have all of our specifications, um, all of our technical data. Very one stop shop, go grab what you need and, and see what we have to offer. And then also Ansel, which is that new red product that I was talking about.

Uh, very nice overview video, and then also all of the, the technical and, and marketing literature available on that product as well. Awesome. Yeah, I'll throw some links down in the shot notes for those, for the people who are interested. I wanted to ask. And, uh, you, this might be outta left field, but, um, do you guys have like, uh, like Revit models or bit models for some of these kitchen hood systems, if architects or engineers were looking to incorporate specific an hoods, uh, their, um, 3d design.

Yeah, we do, depending on, on what the, the product is and, and what the component is. Um, those can be found on those links that we just talked about. Um, and then if there's a specific one that's needed, our technical support group, um, is a great asset for that. And can likely get that component developed for whoever needs.

Yeah. So I wanted to ask you a bit more about the UL standards surrounding these kitchen suppression systems. Since they seem to be a huge component in, um, you know, how these systems get used and which ones are applicable. So. I didn't know if you had any more thoughts on, uh, UL 300 or how that, uh, how those standards are laid out and how that kinda impacts, um, product development and that sort of thing.

Yeah. We have to keep all those things, um, in mind as we develop products, um, depending on what type of product it is, you might have to grab clauses out of different standards. Um, UL 300. Specifically focuses on restaurant fire suppression and, and the testing protocol around suppressing the fire on, on the cooking appliances.

So it's gonna tell you what type of appliance needs to be used, how you like the fire heat up rates. Cool down rates, hold out time, et cetera, grease, loading, whatever that might be. Um, and then you would look at like a UL 1250. If you wanna know the, the details around the mechanical options or the mechanical offerings and functionality of the system.

So how many times you have to cycle the system? How many times you have to make sure it operates? What, uh, whatever other criteria mechanical wise would be in that standard. Um, then as you look at electronics, you might have to pull data outta UL 8 64, which is gonna pertain more to the releasing type panels.

So when we're developing product, we, we have to keep our blinders off. We have to look at all of these various applicable standards and make sure that we're compliant and can meet, can meet whatever is needed or whatever changes, make sure that they're realistic and, and will be approved or needed, et cetera.

And in many cases, we're looking to enhance life safety. Never reduce it. And so is there ever a situation in which you're developing these, you know, new products with, with smart fire protection in, in which they, you have to get involved with, like the creation of, of a new UL standard or is it all just kind of fall in line with existing fire suppression, UL listing saying, you know, electronic listings.

Um, it really depends. Um, so we do have employees on the STP. Uh, so the, the development group for the various UL standards or NC standards, um, providing that insight influence in some direction in many, um, and, and also the other side of it, where we might have a specific application. That might not be black and white in the standard.

Um, isn't going to wait to go through a standard revision or implementation or adoption. So we'll work with UL or that body to come up with a test protocol and program applicable to the hazard. Interesting. Very interesting. Well, uh, Adam, is there anything else that you'd like to talk about, uh, that I didn't cover or, uh, anything you'd like to ask me?

No, I, I just want to, you know, genuinely thank you for the time. Um, it is, it's been great and I hope that we've, we've had some discussion that'll influence or encourage, encourage the industry, um, provided those resources from our products and. Hope everyone will take a look at 'em. Yeah, definitely working people.

Uh, is there like a good contact or, you know, is, is the email the best for people to go or mean not email, but is the website the best for people to go? They need, you know, technical help or from, uh, you or from Ansel? Yeah, it is. Um, so if they go to, um, they'll be able to get in contact with our tech service group or customer service.

Or sales for that, uh, whatever specific function they need to tap into. All of those contacts will be on there via email. Awesome. Well, Adam, thank you so much for coming on the podcast and yeah, it was awesome. They really got into some great detail on, um, the technical part of it and also also projected to the future and you know, what the industry kind hold for these unique, uh, fire protection systems.

Yeah. Thank you for the time. We'll speak soon. Thanks for listening, everybody. Be sure to share the episode with a friend, if you enjoyed it, don't forget that fire protection and life safety is serious business. The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are by no means a professional consultation or a codes and standards interpretation.

Be sure to contact a licensed professional. If you are getting involved with fire protection and or life safety. Thanks again, and we'll see you next time.