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International Training Conference & Expo


Fire Suppression and Ventilation System Failures in Commercial Cooking Operations

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 (8:00am – 12:00pm) (Ballroom 5)


A brief overview of pre-engineered fire suppression, and commercial cooking ventilation systems operation will be provided via lecture and a power point presentation. Second, we will direct our attention to common failures of pre-engineered fire suppression components and commercial cooking ventilation systems.  These failures will be presented on power point format, followed by utilization of a mock-up commercial kitchen. Next, we will demonstrate some of these failures. Lastly, we will then disassemble the fire suppression system components, and the class will have an opportunity to participate in disassembly and assembly in a hands-on fashion.  The hands-on component of this presentation will allow the participants to evaluate these failures just as they would in an investigation.

Learning objectives:

  1. The attendee will be able to identify the major components of a fire suppression and ventilation system.

  2. The attendee will become familiar with the key terms (nomenclature) to correctly identify and describe these systems.

  3. The attendee will see how a fire suppression system and ancillary components work as designed.

  4. The attendee will be able to describe common failures of fire suppression systems.

  5. The attendee will leave with an understanding of scene preservation methodology needed in evaluating losses in commercial cooking operations.


Bill Almon

In 1998, Bill began working for the Franklin Fire Department, Franklin, Tennessee. He serves the citizens of Franklin as Fire Lieutenant, assigned to the Suppression division where he is charged with responsibilities of firefighting, fire investigations and fire inspections. Since 2009, he has been the co-owner of Fire-Tek. Fire-Tek offers fire extinguisher, fire system, and fire investigations services. Mr. Almon has tailored his investigation expertise to fixed fire extinguishing systems, specifically commercial kitchen fire system origin and cause determination and system analysis. Mr. Almon holds certifications as a Certified Fire Investigator, Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator and Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator. Bill is also a Certified Fire Inspector and Hazardous Materials Technician. Bill has received multiple recognition's for successful fire investigations and lives saved throughout his career.


Chip Barnhart

Role in an investigation is to evaluate the performance of the commercial kitchen fire suppression system, ventilation systems, and related components.  I worked for a manufacturer and wholesaler of fire suppression equipment for over 6 years as a product training & technical support specialist. Besides training the installers of commercial kitchen fire suppression equipment and answering related technical questions, I went to fire losses as a company representative when our attendance was requested.  That was my first exposure to the field of fire investigation.  My entry into the field of fire investigation is somewhat atypical; coming from the “product” side compared to most of my colleagues who came from the public sector, academia, or a combination of both.

I began working in this field in 2006 and founded Barnhart Consulting Services in 2013.  My coverage area is the United States and Canada and I have had the opportunity to work with many different Origin and Cause Investigators throughout the country assisting in the investigation of these types of fire losses.  My residence is near Rapid City, South Dakota and hold the IAAI-FIT & ECT designations along with the NAFI-CFEI.

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