Kitchen cleanliness serves two chief purposes: food hygiene and fire prevention. Ducts and cooker hoods are there to remove soot, grease, fumes and other air contaminants, but inevitably these hazards stick and settle inside the extraction system itself. Accumulating grease and dirt, especially in the air filters, gradually prevents them operating efficiently, raising electricity consumption and reducing the lifespan of their motors.
Studies suggest that about 30% of all non-domestic fires are cooking related (not only in commercial restaurants) and of those about 22% are caused by failure to keep the kitchen sufficiently clean. Ducts and hoods don’t spontaneously ignite. More often the problem begins with a small overheating incident, such as a deep fat fryer, that then ignites grease and debris inside the extraction hood or ductwork. A minor local accident can then become a building-wide catastrophe.
The point isn’t lost on insurance companies. If the proprietor cannot prove they have maintained extractors according to the manufacturer’s instructions both the building insurance and commercial liability insurance are usually invalidated. Standard maintenance includes regular inspections by suitably trained personnel, duct cleaning and filter replacement.
BESA guidelines and the law
The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has established a code called TR19 that defines appropriate commercial kitchen ventilation and its cleaning and maintenance. Although BESA guidelines are not ‘the law’ in a strict sense, they are the standards against which the proprietor is judged if an incident occurs or questions are raised about the general Health and Safety of the business. Many insurance policies directly stipulate TR19 compliance.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 add requirements for the responsible person to conduct fire risk assessments and maintain a fire management plan which includes maintenance of the vents, ducts, canopies and fans. BESA qualified operatives can issue certificates to prove your professional standards in the event of any insurance claim or hygiene dispute.
If you are looking for professional extraction system cleaning, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, and we would be happy to help!Previous Next
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