Fire Systems in Food Trucks

Food trucks gained huge popularity across the country slowly imprinting themselves as a part of our culture and cuisine representation. The sound of an ice-cream truck alone can fill us with the childlike joy once we hear it even after so many years. According to the National Geographic magazine, food trucks hold an enormous amount of the market share capping $800 mil of annual revenue. Nowadays these vehicles with mobile kitchens roam around the country feeding people with virtually any world cuisine. From grilled cheese and tacos to lobsters and oysters, food trucks service endless lines of hungry office workers on lunch brakes and jolly bypassers on Saturday evening boulevards.

Even though compared to regular diners or restaurants food trucks include fewer hazardous cooking equipment, food trucks still present the same danger of ignition. A kitchen fire is one of the major reasons for fire outbreaks in the restaurant business industry. Not only there is already an open fire involved in the process of preparation of most foods, simple misuse or negligent handling can lead to the ignition of surrounding surfaces. In addition, cooking often suggests using various oils, fats, and other easily flammable substances that can be spilled over different surfaces and help the potential fire spread. To ensure a rapid reaction in such scenarios, food industry professionals started to use automatic fire suppression systems. When some of the food spaces started traveling on wheels, fire suppression systems evolved to fulfill their duty inside food trucks as well.

How Do Food Truck Fire Suppression Systems Work

Food truck fire suppression systems are the more compact and ergonomic version of regular fire systems for kitchens. Usually, the design of the suppression unit consists of nozzles, detectors, tubes, extinguishing agents, and automated systems of extinguishing deployment and fuel cut. The nozzles tend to be installed over the main cooking surfaces such as stoves, grills, and roasters connected by the tubes to the container with the extinguishing agent. Generally, nozzles and tubes are either hidden under the hood or ergonomically installed by the kitchen exhaust in such a way that they don’t interrupt the cooking process.

The general idea behind such fire systems is a rapid reaction to a spontaneous hazard of a fire breakout. Therefore, for that case, fire systems are equipped with an automatic detection system that includes sensors calibrated to react to rising temperatures around the cooking area. Once it reaches a critical mark, usually 360-500 degrees, the system sends a signal to the automatic release mechanism which starts to dispense extinguishing agent. There is also a reservoir containing a wet chemical agent similar to that of the K class fire extinguishers.

One of the cornerstones of a burning fire is fuel, therefore, fire suppression systems include a mechanism of emergency gas or electricity cut off. Once an extinguishing agent starts spreading out, the system shuts down the fuel source to act at the root of the problem.  In addition to the automatic release mechanism, fire suppression systems are also equipped with a manual switch to ensure that the system will be useful even if detectors fail to react to imminent danger.

Food Truck Fire Suppression System Installation

Different cuisines require a variety of cooking hardware to follow the original recipes. Even an apprentice chef may reach the top-notch levels of taste with proper equipment. Besides, food trucks have limited space and therefore everything that can be installed in it must be pretty compact. That is why the majority of food truck fire systems provide custom solutions regarding the client’s needs. The very process of the installation starts from consulting with professionals to determine design in response to the specific features of the client’s food truck. Some such features are the size of the truck or trailer, kitchen equipment, the products used in the cooking process, etc. Once the design is agreed upon, the provider proceeds to deliver a pre-engineered system with installation and calibration on the site.

How Much Do Fire Truck Suppression Systems Cost

Depending on the brand, size, and customization the cost of food truck fire suppression systems may vary. Regarding the coverage you are expecting from the system, you may require a different quantity of nozzles. They might be located only above heating elements or provide full coverage of the kitchen surfaces including counter, sink, etc. You also may choose to have chrome sleeving and a stainless steel enclosure. Roughly, prices on such systems vary between $2000-5000, with the brand new pre-engineered systems on the higher end. Alternatively, you can pick a used food truck fire suppression system which, with proper maintenance, can save you some budget while still serving the purpose fine.

Importance Of Maintenance Of Fire Truck Suppression Systems

Just like every other piece of equipment on board of the food truck, fire suppression systems require proper maintenance too. To make sure that the fire system is on the peak of its performing capacity it is crucial to occasionally arrange a professional service check-up. Any dents, rust or others flaw on the working parts of the mechanisms can compromise the efficiency of the whole system, and therefore lead to unpleasant consequences. A 12-year hydrostatic test for a wet-chemical extinguishing agent and annual check-up for the whole system will ensure a rapid and fullscale help in the hour of need. Any money you spend on the food truck fire suppression systems is part of the wise investments that help to create a secure working environment for your employees. Performing frequent check-ups will also save your property from excess damage and you from losing the crucial elements of your enterprise.

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