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Consequences of inappropriate Vent Hood Cleaning
Among all the responsibilities a commercial kitchen entails, it’s easy to overlook the maintenance of the exhaust system. It requires periodic maintenance, but depending on its use, you might not look at it twice in days or even weeks. The vent hood, pipes and exhaust fans are very gradually getting a coat of grease, which represents a risk of fire that endangers the life of customers and employees and could possibly lead to very expensive material losses, all this caused by inappropriate Vent Hood Cleaning.
A grease fire can wreak havoc in a kitchen unexpectedly and without warning. If a collection of oil or grease on a stove is left unattended, or if your vent hood is not properly cleaned, it could heat up rapidly and ignite. Because grease and oil are very mobile this type of fire is exceptionally dangerous, causing the fire to spread quickly throughout the kitchen.
Astonishingly, if you try to use water to put out the fire, you will only add to the problem as water causes droplets of grease to splash and move around further. Also, because your exhaust system hood fans are drawing air out of the kitchen and up to your roof, this will also aid the fire in climbing through your duct work. Moreover, if your exhaust system[R1] is not being cleaned regularly to NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) 96 standards, this will speed up the fire spreading process significantly and chances are, the Fire Department will not be able to put out the fire in time to salvage your facility.
So what is the best way to prevent a grease fire and an inappropriate Vent Hood Cleaning ?
The most important thing you can do to prevent a grease fire is to train your employees to fully monitor any grease or oil that is being heated at all times and make sure all surfaces in your kitchen are free of grease, especially your vent hood and exhaust system.
According to the NFPA, inappropriate vent hood cleaning is the leading cause of fire in the kitchen. Staying by the fryer or grill is key. Heat oil slowly, as oil heats up rapidly and can burst into flames when over-heated, and always make sure other liquids or grease are not sitting close to the stove, grill, or fryer.
If a grease fire does occur, what are the best steps in putting it out?
Always have a fire drill plan in place and train employees to react immediately. Assign specific responsibilities to each of your employees. Although carefully coordinated and timely response by your employees can put out grease fires, remember that safety comes first. Never put yourself in danger and always evacuate the area if there is even the slightest doubt in mind.
- Remind your employees never to use water to put out a grease fire.
- Call 911 immediately. Do not wait to see if you can handle the fire on your own. It is always better safe than sorry.
- Turn off your exhaust system fans if you are able to do so. Make sure your employees are aware of how to turn them off.
- Attempt to smother a grease fire with a pan lid. Be careful with glass lids as they may shatter from the heat of an open flame.
- If the pan lid does not work, smother the fire with baking soda. It will probably take large amounts of baking soda to quench a raging fire.
- Use a fire extinguisher only as a last resort as they may contaminate your kitchen and food. You may find Class K fire extinguishers specially used for grease fires at commercial kitchen supply depots.
Prevention will always be the best way to avoid this terrible experience. Making sure all your kitchen surfaces are free of grease is a taxing task that is best performed by professionals. It will save you time and effort and will guarantee a flawless job.
Check out ProTech Vent Hood Cleaning services. We have over 35 years of experience in the field. Our experts will take care of all the exhaust systems with impeccable results. Stop the consecuences of inappropriate Vent Hood Cleaning, learn here why you should choose professionals for restaurant hood cleaning. Our 24/7 response team will be happy to help, just contact us.