By Todd Hohbein, Deputy Fire Marshal, Utah State Fire Marshal’s Office
In the last issue, we discussed the necessity of conducting a thorough inspection and test not only of the fire suppression system in the kitchen hood exhaust system, but also of the grease exhaust ductwork itself. In this issue, we look at the importance of inspecting the exhaust termination point: that point at which the exhaust ductwork penetrates an exterior wall or roof assembly and forcibly exhausts grease-laden vapors into the surrounding atmosphere.
The International Mechanical Code (IMC) regulates exhaust termination points in great detail. Why? Because if they’re not installed properly, hot, grease-laden vapors can be blown onto rooftops, the exterior walls of buildings, sidewalks and roads, pedestrians, or, worse, sucked back into the building through HVAC fresh air intakes or building openings. Not only does any one of those scenarios create a slick and disgusting mess, it can also create dangerous health hazards to occupants and coat the exterior portions of a building in highly combustible grease.
To ensure the particulars of the exhaust termination point are properly installed and assembled, the prudent fire inspector needs to look for the following items: