Deadly Kitchen Installation

Evolve Mechanical Solutions were retained to inspect a very popular down town Vancouver venue that is now closed. What we found within 10 minutes of walking around was frightening. How this tenant was aloud to operate for so long is beyond belief. See pictures below with comments.

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The photograph below is of the cooking line up in the main kitchen.  You’re probably wondering how an installation like this can pass inspection in our country that has strict building by-laws?

What we find is this construction takes place long after the inspectors, engineers and fire department sign off on the original building plan that doesn’t include this kitchen.  Then after a few months the tenant thinks it would be a great idea to include a menu to their venue.  Or maybe they already serve soups and sandwiches but want to expand their menu to include hamburgers, fries etc.  The tenant then reaches out to find a contractor that will install it, usually the contractor is ignorant or shady and installs it without a building permit.

And voila this is unfortunately what you get:

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Below the exhaust duct connecting into the hood had screws fastening them.  Screws can be used if listed but should be used as a last resort.  Welding is the preferred method as it is liquid tight and the large temperature ranges seen during the cooking operation allow for expansion and contraction of the hood and exhaust duct.  Over time the screws my loosen with such large temperature ranges.

Since there were no grease filters on the hood grease built up on the exhaust duct allowing for the build up of combustible fuel for a fire.  Further to this the duct appears to be standard sheet metal and not 16 gauge black iron which means it would melt away in minutes allowing the fire to spread.  Where as 16 gauge black iron would last substantially longer during a fire thus allowing the occupants to escape the premises before the fire spreads.

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Again below picture shows electrical cords penetrating the hood.  This can allow for the build up of grease in the cavity behind the hood.  What makes this worse is the electrical cable could short and provide the means to ignite the fuel and cause a fire.

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And the wonderful contractor who certifies the whole system saying it’s clean….  He/ She should tell the tenant that this operation is not to code and notify the city or fire department.  I guess the old mighty dollar is more important then the lives of the tenant, customers and neighbours.  (The name, company and ASTTBC number blanked out)

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Well more of the same, kitchen exhaust fan on roof.  Probably not listed, no grease cup collection so grease is spewing onto the roof.  Most concerning is the canopy, it’s laden with grease and one little spark could light it up thus causing a roof fire.

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This was seen as mentioned before with a quick 10 minute walkthrough.  Who knows what we would find if we demo the installation and look deeper.

The good news is this:  They are closed for now and we’ve instructed the new tenants of the deficiencies.  They are very receptive and will upgrade the kitchen exhaust system to meet NFPA-96.