BCAB #687 - Ventilation for Cooking Equipment, NFPA 96

BCAB #687

June 22, 1983

Re: Ventilation for Cooking Equipment, NFPA 96

With reference to your letter of May 5, 1983, requesting clarification of the Code requirements for ventilating commercial cooking equipment.

For general application the Board agrees with your interpretation. The Code, in addressing commercial equipment, specifically provides for processes producing grease-laden vapours. This is referred in Sentence to Part 6 where Sentence requires conformance with NFPA 96-1978. We agree that this type of equipment involves deep fat fryers, and also surface cooking appliances such as grilles, broilers and tops with open burners.

For oven type units in which the cooking process is contained, we do not consider that the Code requirements to deal with grease-laden vapours are involved, and Sentence would not be applicable. In this type of equipment we would include bake ovens, convection, and pizza ovens. For these, conformance with Sentence would require removal of air contaminants, such as odours or steam, but not mandatory conformance with NFPA 96-1978.

We appreciate that grease and other vapours are often generated in an oven, even domestic ovens. However, we must assume that units requiring special exhaust features, provide for these, to prevent the individual unit becoming a safety hazard.

We would also point out that where the Code refers to commercial cooking equipment, we take this to encompass any equipment, domestic or otherwise, being used for commercial cooking purposes of a nature anticipated in a restaurant.

J.C. Currie, Chair
Building Code Appeal Board