Commercial kitchens should have a high standard of cleanliness, for the benefit of the employees and those who dine at the restaurant. In addition to contamination and other health issues, the safety of those in and around a commercial kitchen can also be put at risk if proper procedures are not followed. One area of particular concern is a restaurant’s kitchen hood and vent, which if not properly cleaned and maintained, poses a serious risk.
Why Have the Kitchen Hood and Vent Cleaned?
You don’t have to own a free-standing restaurant to have a commercial kitchen. Hospitals, churches, hotels, schools, and senior centers all have kitchens that can feed a large number of people. Regardless of how large or small the kitchen is, or what volume of food it churns out every month, people in the building could be in danger if something goes wrong.
Grease and smoke-laden vapors created while cooking must be removed from the building. Local ordinances and codes require this. All commercial kitchens have hoods that are used to keep grease, dirt, and grime from getting everywhere. Grease and other particles stick to the inside of the kitchen hood. There are various reasons for cleaning hoods and vents.
1. Reduce Risk of Fire
The vent hood’s purpose is to trap grease and smoke; hence its location directly above the cooking surfaces in commercial kitchens. As the hood accumulates layers of grime, if heated high enough, the excess grease could start a fire. A high flame either flares up or is created on the stovetop. The flame comes in contact with the filters located in the kitchen hood and ignites.
With the exhaust fan on drawing in air, the flames are also drawn upward into the ductwork. If enough grease residue exists within the ducts, it can act as a source of fuel, carrying the fire further into the exhaust system causing significant damage. Grease fires are very dangerous and burn very hot. This can be prevented through routine cleaning.
2. Improved Ventilation
Cleaning your hood will improve the ventilation of smoke and other odors throughout your kitchen. If your exhaust system is clogged up with grease and other grime, it is preventing air from being circulated. Better ventilation keeps your space smelling fresher and makes it a more comfortable working environment for kitchen employees.
3. Lower Insurance Premiums
Having your kitchen hoods and vents regularly inspected and cleaned can help keep insurance premiums low. When insurance companies see that the necessary steps are taken to keep your hoods cleaned, you may get a break on your rates.
Regular cleanings reduce risks, costly damage, and repairs. Insurance companies require commercial kitchens to comply with all fire safety codes. If you’re found in violation of any codes, you could lose coverage or pay a higher premium.
4. Code Compliance
Local fire officials conduct inspections in commercial spaces to ensure codes are adhered to and the building is safe. If your restaurant is found to be in violation of these codes and an unclean kitchen hood and vent is found, your building may fail inspection. A failed inspection can put you out of business or cost time and money to bring it back up to code. Stay in compliance to avoid a fine or be made to suspend business.
5. Disease Prevention
A dirty commercial kitchen is a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and mildew due to high volumes of moisture and heat. Dangerous particle emissions can be reduced with a thorough cleaning of the kitchen hood and vent. Particles not trapped in the vent hood are free to escape into the air inside the building.
Schedule Routine Cleanings
How often you have a commercial kitchen’s hood and vent cleaned depends on the type and volume of cooking within the establishment. Follow these guidelines:
- Monthly: Wood, or charcoal-burning stoves, 24-hour restaurants, fast food establishments
- Quarterly: High to average volumes, 24-hour schedules
- Semi-Annually: Pizza restaurants, average volume, eat-in restaurants
- Annually: Hoods over non-grease appliances, seasonal operations, or low volumes of food production
Get the Job Done Right
To avoid fire safety concerns and compliance issues, seek professional hood and vent cleaning services from St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration. We provide cleaning and maintenance for all varieties of commercial kitchens.
We understand that restaurants and food establishments maintain busy schedules. We will work with you and your team to make sure cleaning occurs when it’s convenient for you.