Why Vent Cleaning Matters for Food Businesses
Proper cleaning of ventilation systems is always important, but it is especially vital for food businesses. Commercial kitchens have to deal with concerns that do not apply in other settings when it comes to vent cleaning and maintenance. If ducting is cleaned and maintained properly, there is no real risk. If this is not done, however, the result can be hazardous.
The Risks of Poorly-Cleaned Vents
If your ventilation ducting is not properly cleaned, there are some very real risks that can arise as a result. The one that naturally springs to mind is hygiene and the potential for contamination. However, while this is still a factor that needs to be considered and a potential risk, this is not as large a concern as you might think because, unlike air conditioning systems for example, ventilation systems in kitchens tend to be designed to take things away from the kitchen.
Perhaps the most significant risk factor involved with improper cleaning of ventilation systems in a commercial catering setting is the potential for a fire hazard. Ducting in kitchen ventilation systems tends to experience a large build-up of grease over time. Being a collection of oils, this grease is flammable and, because of the nature of a ventilation system, it also tends to be supplied with a steady stream of fresh air most of the time. If conditions are right, this grease can ignite and can burn quite fiercely. These kinds of fires can spread through the ventilation system and, as a result, through the building quite quickly. How exactly this will spread can be difficult to predict, either when designing and installing vents or when trying to fight the fire. As such, the risk that a fire will spread and get out of control becomes much higher, and extinguishing the blaze becomes much more difficult. If you can’t produce a recent cleaning certificate for your commercial kitchen ventilation system, provided by a competent specialist on a recent schedule, you are likely to see the insure policy null and void and them not paying for the damage and loss of business.
TR/19 and Vent Cleaning Good Practice
TR/19 is a good practice document from the Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association (HVCA). It brought together information contained in two older, separate documents and provides a stringent, detailed, and expansive guide to ducting and ventilation systems in commercial kitchens.
TR/19 covers all aspects of ventilation systems in food preparation environments, both at installation stage and through ongoing maintenance. It also provides one of the best and most detailed guides to vent cleaning and hygiene available. Following these best practices can go a long way to ensuring the safety and efficient operation of kitchen ventilation systems, and preventing the hazards that can be associated with poor and irregular cleaning of those systems.
Hy5 provides a reliable, specialist cleaning service for vents and ducts in commercial kitchens. Even if there is heavy, difficult build-up of grease and grime, we can effectively remove it in order to help make sure your kitchen is as safe as it can be. For more information or to discuss your commercial vent cleaning needs, please get in touch 01229 588556.