Commercial kitchen ventilation fires can have a catastrophic impact on businesses, with recovery times ranging from 1 to 6 months. This can lead to loss of revenue, increased insurance payments, and costly repairs or refurbishments. In restaurants, where cooking is central, kitchen fires can lead to significant financial losses, cancelations, or even permanent closure. For pubs or clubs, a kitchen fire can easily spread, damaging more important areas and leading to even greater revenue loss.

To mitigate the impact of commercial kitchen ventilation fires, it is essential to have proper fire safety measures in place, including regular cleaning of the ventilation system, proper storage and disposal of flammable materials, and training for staff on fire safety procedures. By taking these steps, businesses can protect their customers, employees, and assets, ensuring a quick and effective recovery from any potential fires.

Kitchen Duct Cleaning - Before & After

Grease deposits are a Fire Hazard

Commercial kitchen ventilation cleaning is an essential task for every commercial kitchen to ensure fire safety and proper hygiene. Accumulated grease deposits on extractor fans, plenums, and ducts pose significant hazards to health and safety. As stated by Richard Norman of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), grease buildup in extractor systems is a major hazard in commercial kitchens, and in 90% of cases of a kitchen fire, a subsequent grease fire in ducting has spread the fire more widely through the building.

During cooking operations, hot oils evaporate, and the grease fumes produced condense on various surfaces. The deposits provide a breeding ground for bacteria and attract pests. When heated above their flashpoint due to thermostat failure or human error, the grease deposits can ignite, resulting in a potentially devastating kitchen fire. To reduce the risk of fire and improve kitchen hygiene, regular kitchen ventilation cleaning, ductwork cleaning and kitchen extractor fan cleaning are imperative.

At APT, we offer comprehensive commercial kitchen ventilation cleaning services that include the removal of all grease deposits from extractor fans, plenums, and ducts. Our cleaning process involves the use of specialised cleaning products and equipment to ensure that all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned. Our team of experienced professionals inspects and cleans the fan blades, motor, belts, and bearings to ensure that the entire ventilation system is clean and free of grease deposits, compliant with BESA guidelines, and fully meets all health and safety regulations.

Changes to Best Practice for Commercial Kitchen Ventilation Cleaning

Many insurers demand that kitchen ventilation cleaning, ductwork cleaning and extraction cleaning is carried out regularly and in accordance with the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) recommendations. Some insurers require a greater frequency of cleaning in order to maintain that the fire policy is valid so make sure that you have read your policy very carefully. Heavy use kitchens should have specialist duct cleaning at least once every quarter or even once a month whilst light use kitchen ducts and extraction systems should be cleaned at least once per year.

The BESA recommendations are set out in publication TR/19. This is entitled ‘Guide to Good Practice – Internal Cleanliness of Ventilation Systems. The second (and most recent) edition of TR/19 includes reference to the British and European Standard BS EN 15780 concerning the cleanliness of ventilation systems. This does not include kitchen extractor systems, nevertheless, BESA made changes to highlight the current best practice to minimise the risk of a grease fire in a kitchen duct.

It is section 7 that concerns commercial kitchens or food processing plants where cooking is required as part of the process. The last round of changes to section 7 concern the frequency of cleaning for commercial kitchen ventilation. A new table has been drawn up showing how often kitchen duct cleaning should take place. Each kitchen has a unique set of circumstances. The new table approaches that issue by publishing figures based on cooking type and hours of cooking.

Certification for Commercial Kitchen Ventilation Cleaning Providers

When hiring a commercial kitchen ventilation cleaning firm, it is crucial to ensure they are specialists in the field and issue a valid certificate. The designated hygiene manager must also check and verify that the contractor’s policy stipulates duct cleaning cover. Failure to do so could result in the client not being covered under the policy in the event of a claim. It is essential to ensure that all documentation is verified of duct cleaning as this is also a requirement of many insurance policies.

It’s your Responsibility to check contractor’s policy & documentation

Responsibility is a significant factor when it comes to commercial kitchen cleaning. It requires both expertise and an in-depth knowledge of hygiene and fire regulations. Employing a non-specialist contractor could result in heavy fines for the owner or manager of the kitchen. It is important to note that the Fire Safety Order of 2005 specifies that the ‘responsible person’ must ensure that both the facilities and equipment are subject to a suitable system of maintenance. All equipment must be in good working order and repair.

If it is determined that the fire was caused by negligence, such as poor cleaning of a kitchen duct, then heavy fines will be imposed. In extreme cases where someone is killed due to negligence, the responsible person faces imprisonment. It is, therefore, crucial to ensure that only specialist commercial ventilation cleaning contractors are employed to avoid any negligence and comply with the regulations.

Choosing your Kitchen Ventilation Cleaning Contractor

Beware of commercial kitchen ventilation cleaning companies and individuals who undercut specialist commercial kitchen ventilation cleaning businesses… they are cheap for a reason! Make sure that you hire highly accredited companies, with the right policies and documentation – call APT today on 0800 0723 773 for a free quote or advice without obligation. We have been at the forefront of the industry, offering one-off deep cleans and regular maintenance cleaning contracts for over 30 years. Our technicians are fully trained and qualified to carry out duct, plenum and extractor fan cleaning. why not call us now free on 0800 0723 773 or start a live chat with one of our expert team to discuss your commercial kitchen ventilation cleaning needs.

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