How cleaning your commercial kitchen can reduce the risk of fire

Author: Ben Gowman

While keeping your kitchen clean for catering purposes and to meet hygiene regulations might be obvious for your business, did you know that keeping everything clean can also help to reduce the risk of fire in your premises?

According to the fire service, as many as 70 percent of fires in kitchens on commercial premises are caused by fat and grease building up in the extraction and ventilation systems, causing faults.

Build-up of grease and dirt

This build up also causes an unseen but very real health hazard because it becomes the perfect place for bacteria to breed and then spread throughout the kitchen – this is why your commercial kitchen ventilation system needs regular cleaning.

The filters within your extraction system are not 100% efficient which means they cannot remove every element of grease or dirt from in the air. The result of this is a build-up of grease and dirt on the extractor fan, the canopy and the surfaces inside the ventilation system.

This layer of grease and dirt builds up over years and becomes a major fire risk to your business. The reason it is such a risk is because if the fire breaks out in the ducts it can be almost impossible to control and stop.

Dangers of duct fires

Building duct work is often impossible to get access to and the fire can easily spread through the system to other parts of the building or even into neighbouring buildings as well. It causes serious damage to the building and can be the end for the business.

The good news is that regular professional cleaning of your commercial kitchen can help to reduce the risk of fire as well as meeting your regulatory requirements for both fire safety and health and hygiene.

Benefits of professional cleaning

Hiring a professional cleaner to ensure all of your kitchen extraction and ventilation systems are thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis will help to prevent grease from building-up in the system, reducing the level of bacteria at the same time.

Your kitchen ventilation and extraction systems must form part of your fire risk assessment according to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This outlines your responsibility to keep any fire risk to a minimum on your premises.

If you don’t have thorough and professional cleans carried out regularly you will be in breach of this, as well as regulations for Environmental Health and could find your insurances invalidated.

How often should ducting be cleaned?

How often you get the ventilation system cleaned depends on the level of use in the kitchen but ideally if you use kitchen 12 -16 hours a day you should get your ducts cleaned professionally every three months.

If you use the kitchen for six to 12 hours a day then clean the ducts every three months, and if you only use the kitchen for two to six hours per day you should have the ducts cleaned professionally every six months.

However, if the kitchen use includes a lot of frying or wood burning then you might need to increase the frequency of cleaning for the ducts.

In terms of extractor hoods and filters – these should be cleaned and degreased on a daily basis and you should always check there is a clean filter in place before any cooking takes place.

Using a commercial cleaning company like Eclipse Cleaning Contractors to regularly clean your kitchen’s ventilation and extraction system will not only ensure your hygiene levels are tip-top but will also help to keep fire risk down.

Why not get in touch and see how we can help?

If you would like to speak to one of our cleaning experts to find out how we can help with your cleaning requirements, please do get in touch with us today. Simply call us on 023 8066 9933 or click the ‘Get in touch’ button alongside.