BCAB #1311 - Ventilation of Commercial Cooking Equipment, NFPA 96, Article

July 14, 1993

BCAB #1311

Re: Ventilation of Commercial Cooking Equipment, NFPA 96, Article

Project Description

This appeal concerns the ventilation of household style cooking equipment in staff rooms and servery kitchens in schools. This kitchen equipment is not part of either the cafeteria kitchen or any teaching facility but is intended to be used by staff or community groups.

Reason for Appeal

Article of the 1992 B.C. Building Code and Sentence of the 1985 B.C. Building Code require systems for ventilating "...restaurant and other commercial cooking equipment..." to conform to NFPA 96, "Installation of Equipment for the Removal of Smoke and Grease-Laden Vapors from Commercial Cooking Equipment."

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that these facilities are not commercial cooking equipment as intended by Article (Sentence of the '85 BCBC is identical) and NFPA 96 and do not require ventilation equipment conforming to NFPA 96.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that based on previous Appeal #687, formal NFPA interpretations of the standard and Appendix A of the 1991 NFPA 96 the facilities in question are intended to be covered by the standard and a conforming ventilation system is required.

Appeal Board Decision #1311

As previously stated in Appeal #1220 the applicability of NFPA 96 must be determined for each individual situation and blanket rulings are not possible. The Board considers that an NFPA 96 ventilation system is required at any time that both:

  • Hazardous vapors could be generated by cooking operations, and
  • The cooking is considered as a commercial operation.

Commercial cooking should be considered as anything other than residential cooking taking place in a dwelling.

This appeal deals with kitchens in school staff rooms and kitchens in community centres that would be used by community groups renting facilities in the building. The Board considers it unlikely that cooking in the staff rooms would produce hazardous vapors so an NFPA 96 venting system should not be required. On the other hand the kitchens rented by community groups have the potential to produce hazardous vapors and should be considered as "commercial" cooking facilities. The Board feels the requirements of Sentence would apply to these community centre kitchens.

George R. Humphrey, Chair