Table of Contents
The majority of states require kitchen hoods to be cleaned and to pass fire prevention codes. This includes remaining in compliance with all state regulations from the National Fire Protection Association. Commercial kitchens require high standards of cleanliness to benefit both the people dining at the restaurant and the employees. If the correct procedures are not performed, the safety of everyone close to or in the kitchen can be compromised due to risks of health issues and contamination.
The hood and vent are one of the most important areas in any commercial kitchen. Correct maintenance and cleanliness are necessary to avoid serious risks. Many people do not realize commercial kitchens are found in more locations than restaurants. Large numbers of people are also fed by kitchens at hotels, hospitals, senior centers, churches and schools. Whether the kitchen is small, extremely large, cooks a small amount or feeds crowds, if anything goes wrong the people in the vicinity can be placed at risk.
The Benefits of Cleaning Commercial Kitchen Hoods
The purpose of a kitchen hood is to prevent grime, dirt and grease from spreading throughout the kitchen. Hoods eliminate the majority of undesirable elements and prevent them from escaping into the kitchen. These elements must have a place to go and will stick to the top surface of the hood. There is a wide range of reasons hoods should be cleaned on a regular basis including removing the particles and grease accumulating inside of the vents, fans, hoods and ducts.
When cooking is performed, vapors containing smoke and grease accumulate and must be eliminated from within the building. This is required by both local codes and ordinances. Every commercial kitchen is required to have hoods to prevent grime, dirt and grease from spreading throughout the kitchen. Keeping the kitchen hood clean is essential for the health and safety of everyone working in or eating food prepared by the kitchen.
Decreasing the Fire Hazard
If kitchen hoods are not cleaned on a regular basis, the amount of grime and grease will continue to accumulate and presents a serious risk of a fire hazard. For this reason, the majority of states require kitchen hoods to be cleaned on a regular basis to decrease the risk of a fire hazard. Some of the grime and grease are not apparent on the hoods. This is why the exhaust system is generally inspected to make certain no extreme amounts of grime or grease are present that can potentially become a dangerous threat.
When a commercial kitchen is dirty, it becomes a breeding ground ideal for mildew, mold and bacteria due to the high volumes of both heat and moisture. Particle emissions can become dangerous if not decreased by thoroughly cleaning the vent and hood. If the hood is dirty, many of the particles will not be trapped within the vent hood and float through the air inside the entire building placing people at risk of disease.
When a kitchen hood is thoroughly cleaned, ventilation in the kitchen improves because odors and smoke are eliminated. If grime or grease begins to clog the exhaust system, the air is unable to circulate properly throughout the system. Since the purpose of this system is proper circulation, it becomes as ineffective as a kitchen without an exhaust system. In addition to better ventilation providing the kitchen with a fresher smell, it also helps ensure the working environment is more comfortable and safer for the employees and anyone else entering the kitchen.
Inspections are conducted by local fire officials to ensure codes in all commercial spaces are followed and the building remains safe. If a code violation is found in a restaurant due to an unclean vent and hood, the commercial kitchen can fail the inspection. Once an inspection is failed, the business must spend the money and take the time necessary to bring everything back to code. Some companies have gone out of business because of a failed inspection. Remaining in compliance is the best way to avoid a suspended business or a fine.
Decreased Insurance Premiums
Ensuring kitchen hoods remain clean is a good way to decrease the risk of a fire hazard potentially resulting in significant damage to the kitchen. The cost of these types of repairs is expensive. Even more money can be immediately saved through reduced insurance premiums simply by making certain hoods are correctly cleaned and regular inspections performed. When the correct steps are followed to ensure hoods remain clean, it is taken into consideration by the insurance companies. Decreasing fire hazard risks generally translates into lower premiums because the chances of using the policy significantly decrease.