Whether you are in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, or anywhere else in Saskatchewan your restaurant requires a fire safety plan. Your staff must be trained and you must conduct a fire drill at least annually. Contact me now so I can help you comply with the Saskatchewan Fire Code

Email: Jim@firecodesolutions.caPhone: 306-519-9535

Restaurant Fire Safety

Managing a restaurant or owning a restaurant can be difficult. Owners are generally concerned about overhead, shrinkage, customer satisfaction, etc. Fire safety tends to be low on the priority list. Often the ROI on the maintenance of fire protection and life safety systems is never seen. However, even small fires contained in a deep-fat fryer can result in downtime, loss of equipment, loss of customers, loss of product, and loss of revenue. Coupling these losses with delayed payments from insurance companies can result in catastrophic consequences for your restaurant. 

As a former fire investigator and fire inspector with Regina Fire and Protective Services, I investigated fires that occurred in restaurants. Several restaurants never reopened after sustaining a fire. I have conducted countless fire inspections in restaurants in my 20-year career. After investigating and inspecting restaurants, I know that fires in restaurants can be mitigated by following the fire code and the referenced standards. 

The following information is provided to help restaurant owners and operators maintain their fire protection and life safety systems. This is only a list of a few select items. Contact me for further information, or to schedule an inspection.  


Codes and Standards for Restaurants

Restaurants must conform to the requirements of the Saskatchewan Fire Code and NFPA 96, 2014 Edition. The Saskatchewan Fire Code is based on the National Fire Code of Canada with some amendments. 

Saskatchewan Fire Code

Fire Safety Plans in Restaurants

Currently, all restaurants in Saskatchewan are required to have a fire safety plan. There are upcoming changes to the National Fire Code of Canada. These changes have not yet been adopted in Saskatchewan. 

The 2020 Edition of the National Fire Code of Canada states that fire safety plans will be required for all licensed beverage establishments and licensed restaurants. A fire safety plan must be provided in all other restaurants where the occupant load of the restaurant, including employees, exceeds 30 people. Note this is not based on the number of seats in the restaurant but rather on the total number of people. 

If you want more information on fire safety plans, I’ve prepared a guide to fire safety plans in Saskatchewan. Note that a fire safety plan in a restaurant should identify all the inspection, testing, and maintenance requirements of the commercial cooking equipment, the hoods, ducts (including dampers) and fans, and fire extinguishing equipment. In addition, it must also identify the location of the cooking appliances under the hood. 

The following must be maintained. I recommend that they be included in the fire safety plan.  

Posting Emergency Procedures

If your restaurant requires a fire safety plan, the fire emergency procedures must be posted in each floor area. 

Fire Drills 

If your restaurant requires a fire safety plan the Saskatchewan Fire Code, an annual fire drill for supervisory staff must be conducted at least annually. All supervisory staff must be trained before being delegated any responsibilities

Portable Fire Extinguishers in Restaurants

Commercial kitchens that produce grease-laden vapours must be equipped with at least one Class K fire extinguisher in the kitchen. This fire extinguisher is intended to supplement the fire extinguishing system and should only be used as a backup. 

A sign must be conspicuously posted near the Class K fire extinguisher indicating that the fire extinguishing system must be activated before using the fire extinguisher. Check with your local fire department on the specific wording. 

In addition to the Class K fire extinguisher, general area fire extinguisher coverage is required in the kitchen and seating area. Generally, 2A-10BC fire extinguishers are required to be provided. 

Flaming Meals and Drinks

Flaming meals or drinks can only be ignited at the location of serving. This means servers cannot walk through the restaurant or bar with a flaming meal or drink while ignited

All refueling of equipment used to flame meals or drinks or to warm food must be carried out outside the serving area and away from ignition sources. A minimum 5-B:C portable fire extinguisher must be located on the serving cart where the flaming meal or drink is served. 

Flaming meals and drinks are not permitted in any care or treatment occupancies. 

Devices Having Open Flames

Any device with an open flame must be securely supported in a noncombustible holder and must be located or protected to prevent accidental contact of the flame with combustible materials.


NFPA 96, Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations, 2014 Edition, provides guidelines for the design, installation, operation, inspection, and maintenance of public and private cooking operations. 

The goal of the NFPA 96 standard is to “reduce the potential fire hazard of cooking operations, irrespective of the type of cooking equipment used and whether it is used in public or private facilities”. 

Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance Requirements

All actuation and control components, including manual pull stations, mechanical and electrical devices, detectors, and actuators, must be tested for proper operation during the inspection per the manufacturer’s procedures. 

Qualified contractors are required to inspect, test, and maintain fire protection and life safety systems. The following municipalities in Saskatchewan regulate these contractors, Regina, Saskatoon, Swift Current, and Yorkton. Note that Regina Fire and Protective Services requires approved contractors for the following:

Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Fire Extinguishing Systems 

The inspection, testing, and maintenance procedures for fire extinguishing systems must be performed at least every 6 months. 

Fusible Links & Detection Devices

Fusible links of the metal alloy type and automatic sprinklers of the metal alloy type must be replaced at least every 6 months.  

Detection devices that are bulb-type automatic sprinklers and fusible links other than the metal alloy type must be examined and cleaned or replaced at least annually. 

Fixed temperature-sensing elements other than the fusible metal alloy type must be permitted to remain continuously in service, provided they are inspected and cleaned or replaced if necessary, following the manufacturer's instructions, every 12 months or more frequently to ensure proper operation of the system. 

If the hood is provided with a fire damper, there will be a separate fusible link for the fire damper. These fusible links are required to be replaced at least every 6 months. 

The year of manufacture and the date of installation of fusible links shall be marked on the system inspection tag. The tag must be signed or initialed by the installer. 

Inspection for Grease Buildup

All hoods, ducts, and fans must be inspected as noted below. If the system is contaminated with grease, the contaminated portions must be cleaned.

Removal of Access Panels

When an access panel is removed a tag must be placed on or near the access panel with the company name and the date of inspection/cleaning. 

Grease Filters

Only listed grease filters can be used. The grease filters must be in place while cooking. 

Certificate of Cleaning

The exhaust cleaning service must provide a certificate with the name of the company, the name of the person performing the person, and the date of inspection or cleaning. 

When the exhaust cleaning is complete the cleaning company must provide a report. The report must identify areas that were inaccessible or not cleaned. 

Cooking Equipment Maintenance 

Inspect and service cooking equipment at least annually. Where the equipment collects grease below the surface, behind the equipment, or in cooking equipment flue gas exhaust, such as griddles or charbroilers must be inspected and if found with grease accumulation, cleaned by a properly trained, qualified, and certified person. 

Access Openings For Cleaning 

Access openings must be provided in the ductwork for inspection and cleaning. If access is not easily accessible from the floor or a 10-foot stepladder, the access openings on horizontal ductwork must be provided with safe access and a work platform. 

Vertical ductwork access must be provided at the top of the vertical riser. Where personnel entry is not possible, adequate access for cleaning must be provided on each floor. 

Access panels must be equipped with a gasket and sealant rated for 815.6°C and must be grease tight. The access panels cannot be homemade. They must be listed as grease duct access door assemblies installed per the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Access panels located within a rated enclosure must be identified and labeled “ACCESS PANEL – DO NOT OBSTRUCT”.  

Exhaust Fan Operation

The hood exhaust fan must continue to operate when the fire extinguishing system is activated. 

The exhaust fan must be interconnected with the appliances under the hood to activate the exhaust fan when an appliance located under the hood is turned on. 

Fuel & Electric Power Shutoff 

Activation of the fire extinguishing system protecting a cooking operation must automatically shut off all sources of fuel and electrical power that produce heat to all equipment requiring protection. 

The shutoff devices must be manually reset. They cannot automatically reset.   

Manual Activation of Fire Extinguishing System 

NFPA 96 states that the manual activation device must be located 1067 mm to 1219 mm (42 inches to 48 inches) above the floor in the path of egress travel. However, in the Province of Saskatchewan, the devices cannot be located more than 1200 mm above the floor. 

At least one manual activation device must be located a minimum of 3 metres (10 feet) and max 6 metres (20 feet) from the protected hood exhaust system within the path of egress. 

Kitchen Employee Training 

All kitchen employees must be provided with instructions regarding the proper use of portable fire extinguishers and the manual activation of fire-extinguishing equipment. 

Instructions for manually operating the fire extinguishing system must be posted in the kitchen and reviewed with employees and management. 

Fire Extinguishing System Annunciation 

Upon activation of an automatic fire-extinguishing system, an audible alarm or visual indicator must be provided to show that the system has been activated. 

If the building is equipped with a fire alarm system, activation of the fire extinguishing system must activate the fire alarm system. 

The Saskatchewan Building Code identifies when a fire alarm system is required to be installed in a restaurant. Generally, a fire alarm system must be installed in a licensed beverage establishment with an occupant load greater than 150 people. In addition, a fire alarm system is required if the building is required to be provided with a sprinkler system or if the restaurant is located in a building that is required to be equipped with a fire alarm system. 

Commercial Cooking Equipment Locations

Cooking appliances must be maintained in their designed location. The fire extinguishing system was designed to protect the individual cooking appliances. Moving the cooking appliances under the same hood may reduce the effectiveness of the fire extinguishing system. The original design drawings must be maintained. These drawings can be referred to confirm the original design location. 

Adding New Cooking Equipment 

When adding new cooking equipment there are several considerations: 

Contact a qualified professional to assist you. 

Separation of Deep-Fat Fryers & Flames

All deep-fat fryers must be installed with at least 406 mm (16 inches) space between the fryer and surface flames from adjacent cooking equipment. Alternatively, a steel or tempered glass baffle can be installed between the fryer and the surface flames of the adjacent appliance. The baffle must be at a minimum of 203 mm (8 inches) in height. If the fryer and the surface flames are at different horizontal planes, the minimum height baffle of 203 mm (8 inches) must be measured from the higher of the two. 

Deep-Fat Fryer Controls

Deep-fat fryers must be equipped with a separate high-limit control in addition to the adjustable operating control (thermostat) to shut off fuel or energy when the fat temperature reaches 246°C (475°F) at 25.4 mm (1 inch) below the surface. 

Solid Fuel

Solid fuel used with a gas-operated appliance must be in a solid fuel box that is listed with the equipment. 

Commercial Cooking Guide - Saskatchewan 

The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency prepared the Commercial Cooking Guide - Saskatchewan, which will also provide some information.