Kitchen hoods are important equipment in all kitchens although sometimes, they are quite overlooked. This amazing equipment pulls away unwanted odor, smoke, and pollutants in the kitchen. You can’t imagine your kitchen life without them. Some people even invest in high-end brands to ensure top quality of their kitchen hoods.
Just like any other equipment, kitchen hoods need frequent cleaning to be able to maintain their maximum performance and to extend their useful life as well. Over time, kitchen hoods can be filled with grease especially if you are doing the heavy cooking, 24/7. You don’t want to be suffocated in a polluted kitchen. On top of this, if you are a commercial kitchen operator, you are required to regularly clean your kitchen hoods in accordance with a governing rule- the NFPA 96 Standard.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is the governing body providing the minimum codes of standards for the kitchen exhaust cleaning industry through the NFPA 96: Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations.
NFPA 96 reflects industry best practices that maximize the protection of operators, building occupants and property for reducing fire risks in public and private commercial kitchens.
The 2011 NFPA 96 is the current code providing clarification on requirements for certified technicians to ensure that equipment is maintained by qualified providers. Today, exhaust hood cleaners require quality methods for maintaining grease-free exhaust systems to keep facilities protected from grease fires.
Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Frequency Requirements
|Type or Volume of Cooking Frequency||Frequency|
|Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations||Monthly|
|Systems serving high-volume cooking operations such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling or work cooking||
|Systems serving moderate-volume cooking operations||Semi-annually|
|Systems serving low-volume cooking operations, such as churches, day camps, seasonal business or senior centers||
What is considered clean by the standard?
The industry standard is to clean to “bare metal.” If a system has not been properly cleaned for a long period of time, sometimes it may require multiple cleaning sessions before getting to bare metal. According to NFPA-96 Standard section 11.6.2, “Hoods, grease removal devices, fans, ducts, and other appurtenances shall be cleaned to remove combustible contaminants prior to surfaces becoming heavily contaminated with grease or oily sludge.”
The best way to determine if a surface is clean is to inspect it. If it looks like there is an accumulation of grease on a surface, then it probably needs cleaning. You can ask your kitchen hood cleaning contractor for the procedures they can perform to have your whole kitchen exhaust systems cleaned to bare metal. Remember that your kitchen hoods need to be cleaned to “bare metal” to pass the requirements of NFPA 96 Standard.
What are the benefits of a clean kitchen hood?
First of all, a clean kitchen hood can reduce the risk of fire hazards. Due to grease build-up, along with the other materials inside your restaurant, a fire hazard in your kitchen is high. Clog kitchen hoods filled with greases can easily start a fire when ignited.
Your kitchen hoods are wonderful kitchen investment. Proper cleaning and maintenance can extend the life of your kitchen hoods. You can also expect better performance as they will look good as new.
Since your kitchen hoods pull away unwanted odors, smokes and air pollutants, they improve the air circulation inside your kitchen. When air is cooler, it creates a comfortable working environment for the employees. Also, it will give a better dining experience for your patrons. This will give them a reason to come and dine in your restaurant.
When air circulation is improved, the health of your employees and customers is not compromised. Bad air circulation can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and the spread of germs throughout the place is likely to happen.
Regular cleaning and inspection of your kitchen hoods make you compliant to NFPA-96 Standard. Professional kitchen hood cleaning contractors issue a certificate after cleaning as proof of your compliance. This will also help you to stay in the food business industry. It will also make you compliant of your local health rules and regulations. This also includes your building code and inspection.
Having clean kitchen hoods is a sign of your responsible action towards good restaurant ownership. You will not only stay in the business but you will also have loyal employees and patrons because their safety is your priority.