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Commercial kitchens in businesses or facilities

Many kitchens in businesses or facilities are designed for food warming only, and lack equipment and fire and safety code features for cooking food, such as commercial ventilation hoods to remove grease-laden vapours from the environment. As some of these facilities are used to host community and other public events with a lot of people, food preparation which may include cooking with oil and deep frying has become common in some facilities. This can be very dangerous, causing fire and other unsafe conditions for anyone using these facilities.

We are working to help businesses and groups ensure their kitchens meet the Alberta building and fire codes and are safe for the many people who use them.

Do you have questions about technical requirements? Contact 311 and ask to speak with a safety codes officer about a heating and ventilation concern with regards to a facility kitchen.


Commercial kitchen application and approval process:

1. Contact 311 to schedule a fire code inspection for a “community centre kitchen”

2. Full fire code inspection of facility completed by the Calgary Fire Department

3. Building permit and mechanical permit applications (if required) are submitted by the community groups (contractor may be required; find out more by calling 403-268-5311)

4. Inspections and completion

Non-commercial kitchen approval process:

1. Contact 311 to schedule a fire code inspection for a “community centre kitchen”

2. Full fire code inspection of facility completed by the Calgary Fire Department

3. Download and print a City of Calgary declaration form

4. Ensure that the completed declaration form is on the facility premises


How do you know if you have a commercial kitchen in your facility?


A commercial kitchen is used to cook foods or use appliances with the potential to produce smoke or grease-laden vapours.

Examples of appliances and cooking that make a kitchen  commercial include:

Using a range top to cook any of the following:

  • Cooking or baking eggs
  • Cooking bacon
  • Cooking hashbrowns
  • Cooking raw meat products
  • Cooking donairs
  • Cooking other food products with oil
  • Using a deep fryer
  • Using a pressure fryer with lid
  • Using a range
  • Using a griddle
  • Using open or closed top chain broilers
  • Using charbroilers
  • Using upright/salamander broilers
  • Using gas radiants
  • Using woks
  • Using tilt skillets
  • Using braising pans
  • Using exhaust canopies

You do not have a commercial kitchen if you are:

  • Warming pre-cooked hot dogs and other pre-cooked food or meals, meat products, soups and stews
  • Boiling water for purposes like cooking potatoes, pasta, rice or poached eggs
  • Heating beverages
  • Baking cookies, bread or cakes
  • Cooking paninis
  • Cooking meat from raw inside a closed oven

And using the following appliances:

  • Closed oven with a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule
  • Closed pizza oven
  • Baking oven
  • Coffee maker or roaster
  • Hot dog display heater
  • Pastry oven
  • Popcorn maker
  • Roll warmer
  • Steamer
  • Toaster
  • Warming oven
  • One listed self-contained fryer (such as a Perfect Fry)
  • Soup kettle
  • Rice cooker
  • Panini press
  • Range

These activities do not produce smoke or grease laden vapours, but still require a mechanical ventilation system that includes canopies, ductwork and fans to remove odours, steam or heat outside the building. Make up air may also be required.The only exception to this is if you are doing these activities in a closed oven, and have a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule for your oven. Please note: all ventilation systems require regular cleaning and maintenance specific to the type of system.

Businesses and facilities are responsible to ensure that no food is cooked in their facility which produces grease-laden vapours. This information should be included in all rental agreements and posted clearly in the kitchen and facility.