A very important part of sustaining a safe and efficient restaurant operation is ensuring regular cleaning of the kitchen’s exhaust system. Keeping the duct system and hood filters devoid of excess grease build-up is a necessity according to the law, as outlined in NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Standards 96.
Just cleaning the hood filters will not be enough, it will not remove the grease build-up from ductwork or fans. NFPA Standards require that the cleaning is done by professional restaurant kitchen exhaust cleaners who are qualified and properly trained.
Expectations from hood cleaning professionals
So, what is it that restaurants should look for when organizing kitchen hoods cleaning?
First and most importantly, it is recommended that restaurant owners hire a cleaning service that strictly adheres to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards 96. This way they will ensure their cooking operation is fire code compliant and safe for everyone.
Whether a restaurant owner has already hired a kitchen exhaust cleaning service or has just started looking, these are a few things they should expect from a professional and reliable kitchen hood cleaning service:
- Before the cleaning process starts, all kitchen appliances and equipment will be wrapped in plastic.
- A lead technician from the hood cleaning service should meet with the building manager (or similar leader) to walk around the facility and outline the steps that will be taken during the process of kitchen hoods cleaning.
- Stickers for the cleaning service should be pasted to hoods showing the date of cleaning, company name, relevant technicians’ names and any areas that were not cleaned.
- Cleaning by the professionals should include degreasing foam and power washing.
- The cleaning company should share photographs of the entire system for review by restaurant management
- A report should be compiled by the cleaning company to outline any challenges encountered and system deficiencies discovered.
- Cleaning operations by the professionals should entail all ductwork, checking and cleaning all fans, hood filter and grease-catcher cleaning and re-installation and all requisite setup and clean-up.
- The cleaning company should repair or report any fans that are not working.
Choosing the right kitchen hood cleaning company
There are numerous restaurant kitchen exhaust cleaners, it is up to the managers or owner of the establishment to make a well calculated decision in order to keep their operation safe and code compliant.
The most appropriate way to evaluate a hood cleaning service is by asking specific questions about the service provider’s process. Ensure the process is as thorough as possible and request photographs and a full report of their work.
Also, check how long the cleaning company has been in business in the area. An experienced local company will be more familiar with all applicable fire codes and safety requirements.
Some benefits of hood cleaning
By making sure that the restaurant’s hood ventilation system is maintained properly will greatly reduce the risk of fire on the property and boost the life of equipment. Hiring services of a professional and certified hood cleaning company for kitchen hoods cleaning isn’t just to meet NFPA Standards; it’s for the good of your entire operation.
Effective hood maintenance will ensure a professional working environment in your restaurant’s kitchen and help avoid any litigation due to fire. Ensuring that all the smoke, gases and particles are properly removed by suction through the kitchen’s hood will also ensure the serving area of your restaurant has clean air for diners. Also, the kitchen’s hoods will ensure most of the heat from cooking is removed through the duct, leaving a comfortable temperature in the kitchen for the staff.