UL 300 standards:

 

UL300 and Kitchen Fire Protection Systems

Because of changes in commercial cooking methods, certain fire suppression
systems currently installed in restaurant cooking areas may not provide
adequate fire protection. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has adopted a new
fire testing standard (UL300) to improve fire protection in restaurant
cooking areas and applies to all units manufactured after November 21, 1994.

The two changes that have had the most impact on fire protection in recent
years are the use of vegetable cooking oils for frying and the use of
"energy efficient" appliances. The use of vegetable oils has helped lower
the fat and cholesterol content of food but burn at a higher temperature
than animal fats and create fires that are more difficult to extinguish.
Energy efficient cooking appliances help reduce fuel consumption and improve
cooking times by maintaining a more consistent temperature. They also help
keep cooking oils and metal appliances hotter longer and make fire
extinguishment more difficult. Significant changes in the design of fire
suppression systems were required to pass the UL tests.

Wet chemical fire suppression systems, with their increased supply of
extinguishing agent and fire smothering characteristics, are effective in
extinguishing UL300 test fires while dry chemical systems and water spray
devices were not.

The UL300 standard, which applies to manufacturers, does not involve itself
with the upgrading or replacement of old (non-UL300) systems. However,
restaurant operators should upgrade or replace older systems that do not
work properly, that do not provide adequate fire protection, or that do not
comply with the manufacturer's specifications or current fire code
standards.

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NFPA says that "when a change has been made to the cooking media, positioning, or replacement of cooking equipment occur, then the system SHALL be made to comply with UL 300." (NFPA 1-50.4.3.5)

It is recommended that non UL 300 systems are to be upgraded or changed out when the manufacturer no longer supports them or when the system is due for hydrotesting.  Parts are not made any longer for the obsolete dry chemical systems any longer.

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