UL 300

On November 21, 1994, a new Underwriters Laboratories test standard entitled UL 300, Fire Testing of Fire Extinguishing Systems for Protection of Restaurant Cooking Areas, went into effect. This new standard is the result of changes in fire hazards involving commercial cooking equipment.

New Agents & Designs

The recent demand for a low-fat diet has profoundly changed the effectiveness of conventional extinguishing agents.
UL 300 Label
Additives which make low-fat oils palatable, coupled with super-insulated deep fat fryers have rendered most dry chemical agents ineffective for fighting these types of fires. The concern has been so significant that a UL 300 test requirement was enacted calling for new agents and new designs for all systems installed or modified as of November 21, 1994.

How Do I Know if a System Meets UL 300 Standards?
All new restaurant fire protection systems manufactured after the effective date of November 1994 must comply with UL 300 to qualify for a UL Listing.

According to Underwriters Laboratory, there is only 1 way to verify that a system meets UL 300. First, check with UL that the model number is listed as UL 300 compliant. Then, verify that all components have been installed as specified by the manufacturer's manual. Although the verification process can be challenging, a reasonable place to start is to first look for the UL 300 label on the system's extinguishing chemical tank or cabinet. Another indicator of a UL 300 system is the type of discharge nozzle. All UL 300 compliant systems use UL300 a wet extinguishing agent. Wet system nozzles are narrow ¾" to 1" in diameter and are typically covered with red, orange or yellow plastic caps to keep them clean.

Obvious Indicators a Fire Protection System does not meet UL 300:
  • Installed prior to November 21, 1994
  • No UL Label on cylinder
  • Dry chemical extinguishing media
  • Dry chemical discharge nozzles - large size - 2" in diameter heads
  • System uses water spray to protect appliances
Most fire suppression system service companies will indicate if the system is UL 300 compliant, or not, on their inspection/service report.
When Does a Non-ULl 300 System Need to Be Replaced?
UL does not "unlist" restaurant fire protection systems that were listed prior to the implementation of UL 300. Such systems continue to qualify as a Listed product as long as the system is in compliance with its original listing requirements. However, lack of proper replacement parts may mean the UL listing is void.

Some Insurance companies may require compliance with the UL 300 standard.

Addition to International Fire Code
A new section was added to the 2009 edition of the International Fire Code , 904.11.6 Operations and maintenance, which addresses existing systems. Indiana has not adopted the 2009 edition, but, the importance of meeting the performance requirements of fire suppression is quite evident.

IFC 2009: 904.11.6.1 Existing automatic fire-extinguishing systems. Where changes in the cooking media, positioning of cooking equipment or replacement of cooking equipment occur in existing commercial cooking systems, the automatic fire-extinguishing system shall be required to comply with the applicable provisions of 904.11 through 904.11.4.

Retrofitting a non-compliant system may or may not be possible. The system up-grade will need to be performed in accordance with the manufacturer's UL listing.