Kitchen extract system maintenance is an essential part of the upkeep of any successful commercial kitchen. Not only is it a condition of cover for all major insurance companies and a requirement of the Health & Safety Executive, it is essential for the health and safety for staff and customers, but it can also extend the life of the system and improve its overall efficiency.
Airways, a ventilation hygiene specialist headquartered in Dublin, have vast experience of kitchen extract system cleaning across Ireland and the UK, dealing with customers such as Burger King, Dunne Stores Fitzwilliam Hotel Group.
Damien Waddick, MD of Airways, advises customers to inspect their system regularly, and have a certified professional company carry out a TR19 standard clean in line with guidelines based on kitchen usage.
"The onus for ensuring that a kitchen grease extraction system is safe falls squarely on the shoulders of the kitchen manager/business owner," said Damien. The minimum requirement for kitchens to have their ventilation systems cleaned is once per year, based on a very low usage, and applies equally to the single branch outlet as it does to the largest national chain.
It is highly recommended that a professional Kitchen extraction cleaning company is used to carry out a clean of the complete system, working to TR19 guidelines and issuing an insurance recognized certificate of compliance and evidential report on completion.
"A canopy may appear clean from the outside and keeping kitchen filters clean and free from grease is extremely important," Damien explained, "But, the components of the system that are not visible are equally, if not more, important, and are the main source of fire spreading throughout a building."
Grease can become a major fire risk if left to build up inside the extraction system as it is very flammable, especially in a kitchen where there are multiple hot devices, which leads to an easily ignited and fast spreading fire. Not only is the restaurant at risk from severe fire damage but neighbouring buildings with connected ventilation systems are also vulnerable, making proper maintenance a necessary part of a kitchen's fire safety policy.
An unclean system does not only present a fire hazard, it can also allow bacteria to accumulate and circulate throughout the business. This can reduce air efficiency as the filtration becomes blocked with grease, placing more of a strain on the system and shortening its efficiency and lifespan, costing the business more in the long run.
"Regular certified specialist cleaning is essential to ensure that the kitchen owner is meeting the expected requirements of insurance companies and the Health & Safety Executive," Damien added.