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Are you UL300 Compliant?
If you are a restaurant owner or an insurance agent going to inspect an insured prospect, you are probably aware of the change in the UL300 compliance systems unveiled in November 1994 (UL300, Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishing Systems for Protection of Restaurant Cooking Areas).
SMARTbusiness allows for restaurant exposures and along with that comes the responsibility of protecting your investment. Underwriting Laboratories updated their testing requirements in 1994 due to the vast change in cooking materials (lard vs. vegetable oils). The changes in how we prepare food have resulted in fires that burn hot and are more difficult to extinguish. Restaurant extinguishing equipment now had to pass these tests in order to be in compliance with this new standard. The system needed to be UL300 complaint for insurers to agree to UW the risk.
The new extinguishing systems were designed to last about 12 years. The first systems will no longer be considered compliant until the tanks are exchanged/replaced. There is a potential for the extinguishing chemical kept in the tank to rust the tank and create a small hole, resulting in a loss of pressure. The system may not function as designed and possibly fail to extinguish a kitchen fire.
We’ve seen instances where fire protection contractors are red tagging a system and not servicing it until it is back in compliance.
How to prepare? Know the age of your system and communicate with your servicing contractors. Budget for the expense to have the tanks replaced when they have reached the end of their shelf life. Estimates may run between $1200-$2100 on up. Protect your investment and avoid the costly inconvenience of a fire interrupting your business.
Julie Scharschmidt AU AIS
Commercial Lines Underwriter
West Bend Mutual Insurance Company
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