Commercial Kitchens

In order to reduce the potential fire hazard of commercial cooking operations all restaurants, cafés, and businesses with commercial kitchens in the city of Fort St. John must meet the following requirements related to the design, installation, operation, inspection, and maintenance of all commercial cooking operations: 

  • Cooking equipment used in processes producing smoke or grease-laden vapour must be equipped with an exhaust hood that complies with NFPA 96.
  • Cooking that produces grease-laden vapour and that might be a source of ignition of grease in the hood, grease removal device, or duct must be protected by fire extinguishing equipment that conforms to NFPA 10 and NFPA 17A.
  • Fire extinguishing equipment shall include both automatic fire extinguishing systems as primary protection and portable fire extinguishers as a secondary backup.
  • The cooking equipment shall conform to the components, installation and maintenance as per NFPA 10, NFPA 17A, and NFPA 96.
  • Fire protection systems for commercial cooking equipment using vegetable oil or animal fat must conform to BC Building Code Part 6 and to ANSI/UL 300 or ULC/ORD-C1254.6.
  • The City of Fort St. John requires the business owner or operator have the equipment serviced and approved by a Certified ASTTBC service provider to ensure that all equipment is current, well maintained and safe to operate.

Cooking Classes

Additional requirements for Commercial Kitchens in Fort St. John are based on the cooking class of a business’ cooking operations. Please see an extensive list of the cooking classes below and ensure that your Commercial Kitchen meets the requirements specific to its class.

CLASS 1 (grease-laden vapours)

A Class 1 Cooking Operation is defined as any cooking process which produces significant smoke or grease-laden vapours and includes any equipment which has been designed by the manufacturer to be able to produce significant smoke or grease-laden vapours, except where specifically approved under another Class. Class 1 cooking operations require Type 1 Hood Duct and Fixed Suppression systems.

Class 1 Cooking Operations equipment includes the following:

  • Range (burners or hot top)
  • Stove or hot plate (gas burner, electric coil, or flat top)
  • Induction cooker
  • Electric frying pan
  • Convection oven if used for cooking chicken wings or other bulk meats
  • Oven (if used for roasting meat)
  • Charbroiler
  • Wok
  • Fry grill
  • Griddle
  • Salamander
  • Deep fat fryer
  • Pan-frying
  • Barbecue
  • Rotisserie
  • Don air vertical broiler
  • Tilting skillet
  • Braising pan
  • Any equipment recommended to have fire suppression by the manufacturer
  • Any equipment which produces or has been designed by the manufacturer to have the potential to produce comparable amounts of smoke or grease defined in the NFPA 96, A.10.1.2

Class 1 Cooking Operations requirements:

  • Commercial Listed Type 1 Hood of 16 Gauge welded Carbon steel or 18 Gauge Stainless steel with fully welded seams. The hood must include listed vertical filters on a 45° angle.
  • Duct constructed of 16 Gauge Carbon Steel or 18 Gauge Stainless Steel, fully welded, and vapour tight. No penetrations are permitted in the duct (screws, rivets, and so on).
  • Fixed “K” Fire Suppression System installed in the hood and duct, with a fusible link located in the hood/duct plenum and suppression nozzles located in the hood and duck where appropriate. The fan must stay on after the hood suppression system has been activated.
  • A remote pull station for the suppression system is required along with signage for its use.
  • The Fan must be located on the roof of the occupancy, be an Up-Blast type, discharge 42” above the roof, and mounted using a hinge kit to allow for inspection/cleaning access.
  • A Portable “K” extinguisher is required to be mounted with signage for use near an exit point in the kitchen.
  • The make-up air system must have an auto-disconnect relay when the suppression system is activated.
  • The ventilation system must be interlocked to the Make-up air system to ensure air balance.
  • There must be an audible device connected to the fixed extinguisher system, connected to a fire alarm system or other audible device so that when the suppression system is activated it has an audible sound.
  • Gas-fired appliances must have a gas valve solenoid to turn off the supply of fuel when the suppression system is triggered.

CLASS 2 (steam and heat removal)

A Class 2 Cooking Operation is defined as any cooking equipment or process which produces significant steam or heat but does not produce grease-laden vapours.

If an appliance is designed with the potential for Class 1 Cooking, and will only be used for Class 2 cooking, then the following additional requirements will apply:

  • A metal sign securely mounted to the front of the hood embossed with the following words sized and coloured so that they can be easily read and understood: “COOKING CAUSING GREASE-LADEN VAPOURS IS NOT PERMITTED EXHAUST SYSTEM IS DESIGNED FOR STEAM AND HEAT REMOVAL ONLY”.
  • Hood and duct to be constructed of 16 Gauge Carbon Steel or 18 Gauge Stainless Steel, fully welded, and vapour tight.
  • Hood and duct clearance to combustibles remain the same as Type 1 systems.
  • Listed access panels are required for every turn in the duct and every 10’ of duct.

Examples of Class 2 Cooking equipment include any of the following if they are >6kW (20,478 BTU/h):

  • Closed pizza oven and conveyor pizza oven (if used only for pizza or bread).
  • Baking oven
  • Pastry oven
  • Warming oven
  • Open Bain Marie
  • Range
  • Coffee roaster
  • Hot dog display heater
  • Popcorn maker
  • Roll warmer
  • Steam reconstitution device
  • Steamer

If an inspection of a Class 2 cooking operation is found to be producing grease-laden vapours, the inspector will either require an immediate menu change, or an upgrade to a compliant Type 1 system.

CLASS 4 (self-contained)

Class 4 Cooking Operation is defined as cooking equipment listed by an accredited certification organization such as ULC, or ETL to ventilate into the room. These devices typically have their own fire suppression and grease filtering systems.

Examples of Class 4 cooking equipment include:

  • Giles Ventless Hood Fryer (previously called Chester Fried Vent less Hood Fryer)
  • Perfect Fryer PFC model series
  • Ventless commercial deep fat fryers
  • Belshaw Donut Robot Fryer with insider vent less cabinet

CLASS 5 (no hood)

A Class 5 Cooking Operation is defined as cooking equipment where a hood is not provided. Products from the cooking operation may be removed by natural ventilation. Class 5 does not include cooking procedures which produce significant grease-laden vapours, significant steam or significant heat.

Where complaints are received by Northern Health such as mold from too much moisture, overheating in the work environment, objectionable odours, or build-up of grease or smoke residue, the owner or manager is responsible to make the required corrections, such as a menu change or equipment change to comply with the appropriate Class of Cooking Operation.

All equipment shall be operated and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and NFPA 10, 17A and 96. Please note that all appliances shall be certified for use within Canada and be rated for commercial use.

Additional Information

If you have any questions or require further information about Commercial Kitchens, please contact Building Inspection.