One of the most critical safety measures for any organization that does commercial cooking is making sure the hood and duct system covering the cooking equipment is maintained properly. Grease fires can cause devastating property damage in a very short amount of time. By simply having grease regularly removed by professionals, this risk can be greatly reduced.
Most restaurants and other organizations with commercial cooking equipment should have their hood and duct systems professionally cleaned at least semi-annually. Kitchens with a high volume of cooking, especially with deep fryers, should be cleaned more frequently. Some organizations that don’t operate year-round, such as camps and baseball stadiums, may question when they need to clean their hood. While it may be tempting to save money on cleaning costs in this situation, it’s still smart to have the hood and duct system cleaned twice a year, once at the beginning of the season and once at the end. Per National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines, this cleaning must be performed by a certified and licensed professional. It shouldn’t be just done by employees unless they’re licensed hood and duct cleaners.
More hood and duct tips:
- Filters in the hood must be the metal, baffle-type filters, not mesh.
- Filters must be installed correctly and should be cleaned regularly by employees.
- Deep-fat fryers need to be kept at least 16 inches from any open flame cooking device or have a proper barrier installed.
- Cooking equipment should be protected by a commercial fire suppression system that’s also serviced regularly.
- A class K fire extinguisher should be mounted within 30 feet of the commercial cooking equipment.
Check out our technical bulletin for this information in an easy-to-use PDF!