Investigation of Residential Cooking Fire Suppression Technologies

Published: February 12, 2018


Anthony P. Hamins, Daniel Madrzykowski, Sung C. Kim, Jonathan Kent


A wide range of cooking fire experiments were conducted to examine the effectiveness of retrofit residential kitchen fire suppression systems. A series of experiments provided data on the hazard associated with cooking oil fires. Then, a series of real-scale fire suppression experiments followed using scenarios outlined in UL 300A draft standard testing various fire suppression systems. Experiments were conducted in a full-scale residential kitchen with dimensions 3.6 m x 3.4 m x 2.4 m high. Both gas and electric ranges were used. Several types of cooking vessel and oil types were tested. The suppression systems tested included automatic and manual suppression technologies. The manual devices included wet and dry chemical type extinguishers. The automatic systems included room-wide and range hood installed systems. The room wide systems included water mist and a residential sprinkler systems. The hood installed systems included water mist and wet and dry chemical systems. Manual extinguishers consistently suppressed the oil fires while maintaining tenable conditions in the mock-up kitchen. One hood-installed wet chemical system tested demonstrated success in extinguishing the oil fires in all experiments, and maintained tenability in the mock up kitchen throughout most of the experiments. The hood-installed dry chemical system tested failed to extinguish the oil fire in all experiments, and introduced tenability hazards not present prior to the system activation. All other system types tested provided mixed results, they either could not reliably suppress the fire, or they consistently generated tenability hazards in the test kitchen. The results of these experiments point the need to develop other approaches to kitchen fire safety such as ignition prevention technologies and reliable early nuisance-free warning through smoke alarms.
Citation: Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1969
Report Number:
NIST Pub Series: Technical Note (NIST TN)
Pub Type: NIST Pubs

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building fire safety, fire protection, fire suppression
Created February 12, 2018, Updated February 12, 2018