When a fire occurs in a restaurant, studies show that it most frequently begins in the kitchen.
That is why it is important not only to have kitchen hood systems cleaned of flammable build-up on a routine basis, but to have them cleaned by a professional who knows how to perform the work properly.
Commercial hoods companies have provided hood cleaning services.
Restaurant fires often occur when a flame ignites cooking materials that have been left to build up in kitchen hoods, fans and ducts.
When you're talking about grease and oil build-up, you are talking about a substance that cannot be removed without special chemicals and tools, and if it is not properly removed on a regular basis, poses a tremendous fire hazard.
There are some criteria restaurant managers and owners can use when selecting a professional exhaust cleaning company to help ensure they have selected the right person for the job.
One of the first questions to ask is to request details regarding the scope of the cleaning services.
There are companies out there that will clean the hood only, and never touch the ducts or the exhaust fans. Not cleaning each part of the system can leave the restaurant vulnerable to significant property damage in the event of a fire.
It's also a good idea to ask about the inspection and cleaning standards that the company follows. Most reputable companies abide by the established standards outlined in the following codes:
NFPA-96: the standard for ventilation control and fire protection of commercial cooking operations.
The International Fire Code: includes regulations that govern the protection of life and property from varying explosions and fire hazards.
The International Mechanical Code: establishes minimum regulations for mechanical systems using prescriptive and performance-related provisions.
These codes are designed to provide general safety provisions, outline maintenance of hood systems and fire protection systems, prevent fires and limit the negative impact of fires when they occur.
Companies should be willing to provide proof of insurance, licenses and certifications.
A list of references that restaurant owners and managers can contact also should be provided by companies upon request.