In this video, we will go over what restaurant owners need to know about fire sprinkler systems when looking for a restaurant space to lease, drafting restaurant blue prints, submitting plans for restaurant permits, and operating their restaurants.
Today I will be going over Fire Sprinkler Requirements for restaurants only. This video is more like for restaurant owners with general information so if you’re an architect looking for some general information then this video is probably not for you.
The first question you’ll be asking is whether the fire sprinkler systems are required for all restaurants? The answer fortunately is no, it’s not required for all restaurants. It’s only required for restaurants larger than 5,000 sq. ft. and if you’re part of a larger building. However for older buildings as you can see in these pictures, if there’s no existing Fire Sprinkler Systems, then as a tenant you’re not required to install your own system unless the entire building is under the city’s agenda for new development. But if this is the case, then your landlord should be well aware of this. So first, check with your landlord to see if the building is under the city’s agenda for new Fire Sprinkler System. If not, then you’re not required to install your own Fire Sprinkler System for an existing restaurant.
Let’s take a look at the pros of having a Fire Sprinkler System. First, it lowers your insurance rate by hundreds to thousands depending on the size of your restaurant. Second of all, it promotes a safer environment of course, less liability for you and your staff.
So now, what are the cons? The cons are higher startup cost. Why? Because a lot of times you have to relocate the existing fire sprinkler heads to accommodate your new layouts, and that means more permits. Separate permits are required for Fire Sprinkler System, and because it’s linked to the Fire Alarm System so a lot of the times the Fire Alarm System needs to be redesigned as well. There’s also a monthly fee that you need to pay to Fire Alarm Companies to monitor your Fire Sprinkler System. And lastly the plan check process is generally longer because now there are more permits required.
So when you’re out there looking for a space to lease and you see a fire sprinkler ahead in the ceiling, what do you do? Well, the first thing you want to do is make sure the location of these fire sprinkler heads are not in interference with the new equipment layout. You want to make sure that you’re not adding any new wall directly underneath these sprinkler heads and you’re not required to either raise or lower the ceiling heights because anytime you want to adjust the height of these sprinklers heads you are required to get permits and you want to avoid getting permits to save you time and money.
Now let’s talk about Fire Alarm System. What are fire alarms? Fire Alarm are monitoring device that controls and initiates the fire sprinkler system. To many restaurant owners surprise, these two are completely different systems usually installed by two different companies. There are Fire Alarm Companies out there who can monitor the Fire Alarm System who can come out and periodically inspect the system to make sure that it’s running smoothly, and there’s also Fire sprinkler Contractors who designs and installs the Fire Sprinkler System.
Now who can help you with the permits? You can either hire the Mechanical Engineers or the Fire sprinkler Contractor. A lot of times it’s just more convenient to hire Fire Sprinkler Contractor to do it off for you because they’re the once doing the final installation and they can also coordinate with the City Inspector for final inspections.
If you’re a small restaurant owner who is trying to open your very first restaurant then you’re more than happy to see something like this, a ceiling that’s free of fire sprinkler heads. That’s just means no modifications needed, no permits and no monthly monitoring fees.
Now let’s go over the pros again. The benefits of having Fire Sprinkler System are lower insurance rates and it also promotes a safer environment and less liability for you and your staff.
The cons are again, higher startup cost and you also have to pay a monthly fee to monitor the Fire Sprinkler System. The plan check process is also generally a little bit longer.
There goes my short video of the day. Again just some very general information, nothing fancy but I hope it was helpful for new restaurant owners who are trying to open their first restaurant but have questions about the Fire Sprinkler System.