A well-guarded secret


While working our rear-ends off cleaning I often see technicians servicing the suppression systems - earning more in 15 minutes than I do in 3 hours. Not had a lot of success discovering where/how to obtain training. Anyone know a school or where to obtain this training or certification?


Ron, It is that it is any different, just we do not service the ansol system... the ansol is what puts out a fire, there is two types...

What a exhaust company cleans is the plentium, chute, fan and filters...

RJTravel, supprssion system service is like any other trade, it looks easy until you try it. You can rag and tag a system in 60 seconds and be gone, but to do a good job takes longer. I take about 30 minutes to 45 minutes to service one, but can do it in 20 minutes. Not only do links need to be replaced, but the nozzles removed and checked for obstructions (grease, if you can believe it) The first service usually takes me anywhere from 1.5 hours to 4 hours. I compare the installation with the manufacture requirements, and then I write an estimate to bring the system to code. About 50 % of the systems I look at do not meet code. Think about the hood/exhaust systems we all see that are not installed to code, same with suppression systems

Now that my rant is over, there are ways to learn about system service.
1. Contact the manufacurer of the different systems. There are Amerex, Tyco (ANSUL, a brand name, not a generic name, Pyro Chem), Kidde/Range Guard. If you will commit to a large purchase, They may sign you up.
2. Contact a distributor, they may sell you parts and train you. I have agreements with some distributors, we sell each other at 10 % mark-up. Of course, it will help if you are not too close to each other. Do this 4 times to cover the 4 manufacturers.
3. Hire a competent tech who is already trained.
4. Just do it, start by without any training and keep your fingers crossed you don't have a problem.

Don't forget to contact your state fire marshal office and state contractor's office and see if any training/lisence/insurance
is required.

Douglas Hicks
General Fire Equipment Co of Eastern Oregon, Inc
Construction Contractors Board Lisence #78491
Authorized/Factory trained distributor of Amerex Industrial, Vehicle and Kitchen Fire Suppression Systems


New member
Fire Protection Systems


Like Mr. Hicks, I also inspect and service the kitchen fire suppression systems in restaurants. I have an A.A.S. in fire science and originally wanted to enter the fire department before I ended up in the private sector. Most of my training was on the job.

Currently, I manage a fire protection company and our services include fire extinguisher service, fire alarm service, fire sprinkler service, fire hoses, emergency lighting and safety equipment. (soon to be hood cleaning also. )

I have also attended OSU university for sprinkler training and fire pump training. Attended seminars on fire alarms, and receive recertification on kitchen fire suppression systems.

It's taken me 10 years to get where I'm at. And it's constant training because of the ever changing fire codes. It's definitely challenging.

Keep challenging yourself, and the more you learn the more you earn. We just make it look easy.




Douglas / Hayden,
Thanks for info. As always, things are not as easy as they seem. It appears that the amount of training is extensive. For Hayden the 'ever-changing fire codes' problem soon may be somewhat mitigated in that the Uniform Fire Code and the NFPA codes will merge in 2003. Should make it easier.

Given that you do not 'do hoods', why would you have any interest at all in that which is outside your realm of operation?


Ron Musgraves

Exterior Restoration Specialist
Staff member
Just Kidding, i like flat work, i 've done hoods and i'll stick with flat work, i'm no grease monkey