The Importance of Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning

Restaurants and food establishments are required to get their kitchen exhausts cleaned, due to the fact that over a period of time, grease builds up, because their kitchens are constantly being used.  Not getting their grease exhausts (hoods cleaned) can result in a fire.

In 2013, International Code Council approved the ANSI/IKECA C10Standard for Cleaning of Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Systems . According to IKECA (The International Kitchen Exhaust Association) website, the organization develops voluntary consensus standards for the cleaning, inspection, and user maintenance of commercial cooking operations for the purpose of protecting life and property from fire.

Action Duct Cleaning is a proud member of IKECA which consists of over 250 members from all over the world representing kitchen exhaust cleaning companies, and authorities having jurisdiction (ikeca, 1). The organization provides kitchen exhaust cleaning companies with two different memberships, one of them is Active North American, and the other is Active International. There are different requirements for each membership depending upon the location of the business.

The industry standard is to get kitchen exhausts cleaned every three months; however, some may need it every two weeks depending on the type of oven they are using. Establishments that are using wood-burning, or charcoal-burning stoves will get hood cleaning more often than those that do not.

On June 22, IKECA  published an article on their website about a proposal that is aimed at reducing grease fires. The article went on to discuss how a lack of cleaning can potentially lead to a grease fire, which  can put a community, along with firefighters in danger. This new proposal will require licensed cleaning companies to obtain a permit from the Fire department prior to starting a project. The permits would provide an organized system that would grant the Fire Department access to tracking the systems that are currently getting cleaned.

The process of kitchen exhaust cleaning is a lot of work, therefore, establishments must do their research prior to hiring a company to clean them. One of the most common methods of hood cleaning is scraping, this is when technicians clean the grease, and other residue off the ducts. Another method used is power washing which has the ability to blast 3,500 pounds of water pressure per square inch. There is not an average time that can decipher how long this process will take, because different establishments use different oils, and every duct system is different.

Residential homes should also get their kitchen exhausts cleaned, however they do not need to get them cleaned as often.The process needs to be done for the same reason as commercial establishments, it can prevent a fire from occurring. The USFA (United States Fire Association) created a home fire safety check list which includes a section on kitchen safety. It states to remain in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food, make sure your cooking area free from items that can catch fire, kitchen stove hood is cleaned and vented to the outside, and pots are not left unattended on the stove.

Retrieved July 13, 2015, from http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/fief/handouts/fief_home_fire_safety

 Retrieved July 13, 2015, from http://www.ikeca.org/about-ikeca

One Response to “The Importance of Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning”

  1. Bernard Clyde

    I didn’t realize how big of a fire hazard grease build ups in the kitchen could be. Grease is one of those things that is really difficult to clean up. I think it’s important that businesses know where to go to get professional grease removal services to improve the safety of their work environment. Everyone should feel safe in the kitchen at work.

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