How Close is Too Close for Commercial Ranges?

May 27 2020

How Close is Too Close for Commercial Ranges?

After years of service, every commercial kitchen starts showing signs of wear and tear. Equipment breaks down or becomes outdated, falling behind modern standards of efficiency and functionality. At the center of any restaurant kitchen’s operations, a commercial range is an essential piece of equipment, and should be given particular consideration when selecting new appliances.

When reimagining a brand new kitchen space during a remodel, or simply upgrading outdated appliances, maximizing the kitchen’s available space can help increase overall functionality, however ensuring safety for all staff and customers should also be top of mind.

Commercial Kitchen Remodel

Selecting a new range or multiple ranges during a commercial kitchen remodel will look different based on each restaurant’s specific needs. 

Along with considering the size and number of necessary ranges, it is also crucial to factor in the ranges’ ventilation needs. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires a minimum of six inches surrounding the entire range to ensure proper ventilation of grease and smoke. 

A kitchen remodel is also the time to ensure that all the walls, surfaces, and cabinets adjacent to the new range or ranges are appropriately treated with fire-proofing materials

Commercial Kitchen Upgrade

When upgrading a commercial kitchen without changing the overall organization, choosing a range will likely depend on the available space. While the structure of the range itself is highly adaptable to fit each restaurant’s needs, the NFPA six-inch spacing standard remains the same. This spacing requirement extends to the placement of the grease hood, which must be over six inches above the top of the range’s scope. Much like with a kitchen remodel, now is the time to fire-proof the adjacent walls, surfaces and cabinets. 

Commercial Kitchens in Office Spaces

For commercial kitchens within office or residential spaces, the spacing and safety requirements are determined by state and local codes. Many states follow the International Mechanical Code concerning commercial and residential appliances. However, states such as Georgia and Virginia have specific requirements for grease hoods in commercial installations of domestic cooking equipment.

Beyond the differing regulations for hood types and placements, the NFPA spacing standard still applies to commercial kitchens in non-restaurant settings, such as office and school cafeterias.

Commercial Kitchen Layout Considerations

Whether totally remodeled or partially upgraded, an effective and safe commercial kitchen must follow NFPA guidelines to ensure proper spacing and ventilation surrounding equipment, such as ranges and hoods. These standards, as well as state and local codes, ensure safety for kitchen staff and equipment, while also maximizing the use of space to increase each restaurant’s functionality and production.

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