Regular maintenance for your commercial kitchen exhaust system will keep it working efficiently, maintain healthy indoor air quality, and increase the productivity and longevity of your cooking equipment. The benefits of a scheduled maintenance regimen far outweigh the costs for regularly maintaining your equipment. With proper maintenance, you can expect better performance, fewer breakdowns, and avoid a fire that could threaten to destroy your entire building. Regularly scheduled cleanings also lower energy costs, prevent roof damage from grease accumulation and create a comfortable and clean environment for your cooks and customers.
The most crucial aspect of diligently cleaning your commercial kitchen exhaust system however is fire mitigation.
How Does Regularly Cleaning My Kitchen Exhaust System Minimize Fire Hazard?
The more grease that accumulates in your system over time, the more fuel it contains to help a fire continue to burn. You may be thinking that you already have a fire extinguisher and a suppression system in place, so you’re set. However, if your entire kitchen exhaust system has a fuel reserve ready to burn, those preventative measures will not be enough. Let’s follow through an example scenario where a fire happens as a result of cooking equipment:
A fire happens from a line cook accidentally splashing hot oil onto a flame. A small fire ensues. An employee grabs a K-Class fire extinguisher holstered nearby and begins to spray it onto the fire.
It doesn’t quite do the trick! The fire grows and spreads across the stove from which it began. The temperature gets hot enough beneath the hood so that the kitchen suppression system automatically activates.
Ahh! That doesn’t work either! As the fire has grown so has the heat, igniting the grease that lays further inside the ductwork and away from the cookline and the suppression system. The fire continues to grow and climbs further into the ductwork. You know that the ventilation ductwork is designed to contain the heat and flames of a fire for up to 2 hours, so you call the fire department and hope you have enough time for them to arrive.
REALITY CHECK: This series of events only happens in this fashion IF the amount of grease contain within the ductwork is of acceptable or moderate levels. NOT if you haven’t cleaned your complete kitchen exhaust system on appropriate intervals. The above circumstance with neglected or hazardous levels of grease buildup can accelerate the fire while also increasing the probability that the safeguards of the K-Class fire extinguisher or the suppression system may fail.
You see, maintaining control of the cleanliness of your kitchen, inside and out, protects you from having a grease fire that could potentially destroy your business and thus your livelihood. Don’t put yourself into a neglected or hazardous position that puts you and your business at risk.
What Components Require Maintenance?
The basic components of any kitchen exhaust system include:
- Exhaust hood
- Hood filters
- Upblast exhaust fan
- Exhaust fan grease box / Rooftop grease containment system
- Fire suppression system
- Fire dampers, connection collars, and clean out panels
Each of these components needs to be regularly checked for cleanliness as well as functionality. When any of these parts of your system are coated in grease, they pose an extreme fire hazard and do not work as efficiently. This costs you money in energy costs! Not to mention the costs involved in rebuilding your establishment should a devastating fire occur. Stay on schedule and up to code with BARE METAL STANDARD and you can rest easy knowing that your commercial kitchen is safe for your staff, your community and your livelihood.