Skip to main content
Uncategorized

Comparing NFPA 96 and the California Mechanical Code

By January 15, 2023January 17th, 2023No Comments

The California Mechanical Code, Chapter 5, Exhaust Systems and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 96 Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations are both important codes for ensuring the safety and proper operation of exhaust systems in commercial kitchens. While the codes have some similarities, there are also some key differences between them.

Fire Safety

One of the main similarities between the two codes is the focus on fire safety. Both codes include provisions for the use of fire suppression systems in commercial kitchens to minimize the risk of fire and protect against potential damage. However, while the California Mechanical Code, Chapter 5, requires exhaust systems to be designed and installed in accordance with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standard 62.1, NFPA 96 focuses specifically on the design, installation and maintenance of commercial kitchen exhaust systems. This means that the NFPA 96 standard goes into more detail on the specific requirements for exhaust systems in commercial kitchens, including the construction and placement of exhaust hoods, ducts, and fans, as well as provisions for cleaning and inspection.

Another difference between the two codes is that while the California Mechanical Code, Chapter 5, includes general requirements for exhaust systems, NFPA 96 is specific to commercial kitchens. This means that the NFPA 96 standard includes provisions that are not found in the California Mechanical Code, Chapter 5, such as requirements for the cleaning and inspection of exhaust systems and guidelines for the use of fire suppression systems in commercial kitchens.

Cleaning

In terms of maintenance, both codes require regular cleaning and inspection of exhaust systems to ensure that they are free of obstructions and that the fans and other components are in good working order. However, the California Mechanical Code, Chapter 5, does not specify a frequency for these inspections, while the NFPA 96 Standard requires commercial kitchen exhaust systems to be inspected at least annually and cleaned at least every three months.

 

Overall, while the California Mechanical Code, Chapter 5, and the NFPA 96 Standard both focus on ensuring the safety and proper operation of exhaust systems, the latter is more specific to commercial kitchens and goes into more detail on the requirements for exhaust systems in these types of buildings. Building owners and operators should be familiar with both codes and ensure that they are in compliance with both codes to minimize the risk of fire and protect against potential damage.

FREE ESTIMATE