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3 Essential Tips to Prevent Kitchen Exhaust Fires

Every night our kitchen exhaust cleaning technicians set out with the mission to keep restaurants safe from the risk of fire. The certified kitchen exhaust cleaning technicians that work on our team always make sure they go beyond the kitchen’s exhaust hood. A complete cleaning covers every inch of an exhaust system, from the hood all the way to the rooftop kitchen exhaust fan.  This leaves nothing behind but bare metal because only a bare metal cleaning can reduce the risk of fire. Our technicians understand that nothing is of higher priority than protecting your commercial kitchen from the threat of fire. Did you know that over 10,000 restaurant fires are caused each year due to mismanaged kitchen exhaust and hood systems? Many of these restaurant fires occur after a “typical” cleaning has been performed. This occurs when restaurant owners use uncertified or small fly-by-night cleaning operations that lack the training, tools, and capability to clean commercial kitchen exhaust systems to code. The truth is, only a certified contractor can provide the inspection and bare metal cleaning you need to keep your business, employees, and customers safe. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), many restaurant fires originate on kitchen cooking appliances that quickly spread into the kitchen exhaust system. Fire can spread rapidly through neglected grease-laden exhaust systems, and then onto the roof. While most kitchen exhaust hoods are equipped with fire suppression equipment, most exhaust systems leading up to the fan on the roof are not. If the fire is not extinguished at the hood and gets into the exhaust system, by the time the fire department responds, the damage can be extensive. Restaurant owners can protect their businesses and livelihood from destructive commercial kitchen fires. The best way to protect your investment is to have your kitchen exhaust system regularly cleaned by certified professionals. Here are three essential tips on how to prevent kitchen exhaust fires in your commercial kitchen.

Demand a Certified Kitchen Exhaust Cleaner

According to the NFPA 96 code 4.1.5, the owner of the kitchen exhaust system will be ultimately responsible in the event of a fire. As the owner, it is vital that you demand a certified kitchen exhaust cleaner. Certified kitchen exhaust cleaners will always make sure that they go beyond the kitchen’s exhaust hood. A complete cleaning covers every inch of an exhaust system and leaves nothing behind but bare metal. NFPA 96 standards state that only a bare metal cleaning can reduce the risk of fire. They will install grease containment systems, access doors, and hinge kits. A certified contractor will always provide a full-service inspection report and leave behind a certificate of performance to show that your system is compliant. Always ask your current service provider if they are certified by a reputable, accredited agency.

Clean the Entire Kitchen Exhaust System

It may be hard to believe, but some kitchen exhaust cleaning companies only clean what is immediately visible and inspectable. That is not enough. If the complete exhaust system is not cleaned, any greasy residue that remains in a kitchen exhaust system creates a fire hazard. The ductwork from the hood to the roof is largely out of sight and out of mind, but a certified kitchen exhaust cleaning company will clean all those hidden areas. If any horizontal ductwork exists in a restaurant this is one area that low-quality hood cleaners notoriously skip. Inspect the kitchen exhaust ducts or use photo verification after cleaning to see if all the buildup and grease has been removed to the bare metal in accordance with IKECA and NFPA 96 Standards.

Ask For References and Inspection Report

If your kitchen exhaust cleaning contractor is experienced, they should have no problem providing a reference. This can help restaurant owners avoid kitchen exhaust cleaning companies with no track record of cleaning kitchen exhaust systems to code. Expert kitchen exhaust cleaning companies will have a track record of satisfied restaurant owners. Ask for an inspection before scheduling the work. A certified kitchen exhaust cleaner will check for deficiencies, violations, and provide a report identifying any areas of concern, along with a suggested course of corrective action. That is the best place to start. When it comes to safety and cleanliness, you want it done right. Why? Because your business depends on it. When you work with Performance Industrial, you are working with a highly trained and educated staff who care deeply about protecting your restaurant from the threat of fire. If you want to keep your commercial kitchen safe and clean, contact us to learn more. We can discuss what your business needs to prevent fires. If you are looking for the best results for your business, you can count on us.

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