In large commercial kitchens, extractors fans take quite a beating. Day in, day out, they work to remove the steam and fumes from the kitchen. But, over time, grease builds up in the system. Little by little, layer by layer, the system begins to clog, creating a severe fire hazard in an already dangerous environment. Those who fail to know how important implementing commercial kitchen cleaning do so at their peril.
Nor are the risks purely physical. Legally, in most jurisdictions, there are serious penalties for kitchens found non-compliant with health and safety regulations. So, whether you run a restaurant, hospital, hotel, or cafeteria, cleaning the kitchen extractor fan ducting is of the utmost importance.
Grease fires: A very real danger
Fires, like all disasters, seem as if they’ll never happen. Accidents happen to other people. You read about them in the newspaper, or see them on the evening news. But all those people likely thought the same thing. You’re not immune. If you fail to take adequate safety precautions, the question isn’t if a grease fire will break out, but when.
Fires can start for a variety of reasons. But here is one likely scenario. It’s an evening shift. The kitchen is in full swing. The stoves are firing, and the orders are piling in. Then, suddenly, the flame on the stove flares up. The filters above the stove, contained in the kitchen hood, catches light. The extractor fan sucks on the fledgling flame, dragging it higher into the ducting. The thick, congealed layers of grease ignite, acting as an accelerant for the fire. Before you know it, a fire is raging in the heart of the kitchen. It surges up the duct, and out the roof or side of the building.
A fire such as this is not easily stopped. By the time the fire service arrives, it may be too late. Now you’ve got to battle the insurance company, who will question why proper cleaning measures were not implemented.
How often to clean?
So, a grease fire in your ducting is the last thing you want. However, you can’t clean the ducting every day. It’s not practical. How often you get someone to clean will depend upon your stove. For wood-burning or charcoal stoves, every thirty days will be adequate. For most restaurants, cafeterias or hotels, every ninety days is typical. Then, for pizza places or smaller snack bars, twice a year is all that is necessary
Don’t risk your entire business going up in flames, nor failing a health and safety inspection. Instead, get professional kitchen and duct cleaners in regularly to ensure your business meets the legislative and safety standards. It’s simply not worth risking the alternative.