by Kyle Hatchett
What is UL 300?
If you are in the commercial cooking business, chances are you need a UL 300 system.
What's that, you ask?
For starters, it looks like this:
UL 300 refers to "a fire testing standard administered by Underwriters Laboratories (UL)." It isn't a particular make or model of a system. Rather, it's the standard that different systems may or may not adhere to.
One of the most popular vendors of these systems is Ansul, so you will sometimes hear these referred to as Ansul systems.
What makes a system UL 300 compliant?
There are several very specific requirements for a system to comply with UL 300 guidelines. West Bend has published a very helpful info sheet on that, which you can find here.
What is boils down too (no pun intended) is that a UL 300 compliant system has to be strong enough to handle the kind of grease fires and other cooking incidents that can emerge in a restaurant. Whether the restaurant is the owner of the building they occupy, or only a tenant, it is in everyone's interest to limit the spread of any fires that may occur.
Why does this matter?
If you are thinking about opening a restaurant, you need to factor in the cost of a UL 300 system. These systems have to be permanently installed, so you can't just pick them up and take them with you if you decide to change locations.
Your insurance agent should ask you if you if you have one of these systems, because having one will help to qualify you for the most competitive offers in the insurance market. It will also reduce your overall exposure to risk, and therefore, reduce your losses, which will in turn keep your long-term insurance costs down.
So, if you're opening a restaurant, don't skimp when it comes to safety equipment. You'll thank yourself for it later.