Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Make Your Kitchen Staff Aware of Fire Risks

One of the most common causes of fires in restaurant kitchens is when grease has been allowed to build up in the air extraction systems and in a busy kitchen with a high-level of frying then the risk is significant.
Alan Maynard, Managing Director of Ingot Services knows only too well of the dangers: “Keeping a regular programme of thorough cleaning of all the equipment including the extraction duct work will help prevent grease building up and reduce the chance of combustion as well as keeping your insurance company happy”.
It is also vital that all members of staff who are working in the kitchen are made aware of fire risks and that they are fully trained to know how to react should a fire break out. Designating one staff member to be to be aware of the cleaning programme, carry out regular fire assessments, and report any faulty equipment or any potential fire hazards to the management is a great idea and works well for many establishments.

For more information on Ingot Services specialist kitchen cleaning services which include kitchen deep cleaning, kitchen extract cleaning and duct work cleaning visit http://www.ingotservices.co.uk/ or call us free on 0800 731 7892

Monday, 20 February 2012

River Cottage Kitchen Fire Disaster

A cookery school at Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's River Cottage, has been completely destroyed by a fire break out.

Although investigations are underway to prove exactly what caused the fire, the incident is a stark reminder to all businesses to take maximum precautions in fire prevention.

Managing Director of Ingot Services, Alan Maynard explains: "A busy kitchen
whether a restaurant, care home, college or in this case a cookery school,can be extremely susceptible to a number of hazards including fire."

"It is about making sure all preventable steps have been taken - narrowing down the possible causes of fire," he continues.

Ingot Services provides regular kitchen 'deep cleaning,' eliminating grime and bacteria from visible surfaces as well as removing dangerous grease build-up from inside air extraction units - often a cause of devastating fires.

"When a fire destroys a building, a business can struggle to rebuild. Our cleaning services provide the owner with a certification as proof of cleaning which are these days a pre-requisite for insurance which is essential to getting up and running again," concludes Alan.

For more information on Ingot Services specialist kitchen cleaning services which include kitchen deep cleaning, kitchen extract cleaning and duct work cleaning visit http://www.ingotservices.co.uk/ or call us free on 0800 731 7892

Monday, 13 February 2012

Education Establishments Pay Heed to Kitchen Fire Risks

Health and safety laws, along with fire legislation, require that all public buildings take proper precautions to protect from outbreak of illness and fire, both of which can have devastating consequences.
Kitchens within schools and colleges have a great need to ensure that equipment is not only functioning safely but that there is top level of cleanliness, not only on visible equipment and surfaces, but those that are hidden from view.
Ingot not only offers a deep clean throughout the kitchen, it also offers a certified clean for one of the most devastating fire and bacteria hazards – the air duct system.
Any extraction unit within a busy kitchen is a magnet for grease, grime and bacteria build-up. A regular Ingot clean can help to provide essential protection against fire and illness, and we are experts at working within schools and colleges, cleaning when it suits their schedules. The whole process is straightforward but effective and ignoring the dangers is just not worth the risk.

For more information on Ingot Services specialist kitchen cleaning services which include kitchen deep cleaning, kitchen extract cleaning and duct work cleaning visit http://www.ingotservices.co.uk/ or call us free on 0800 731 7892

Monday, 6 February 2012

Ingot MD Continues His Support For Rugby Club

Alan Maynard, our Managing Director here at Ingot Services is not just a great fan of rugby; having played the sport for many years he is also keen to offer his support to his local clubs.

Alan is a long serving volunteer for the Ipswich Rugby Club, which runs one of the largest mini and youth sections in the Eastern Counties, Alan and Ingot Services help to promote the club by sponsoring a regular newsletter and charting all the club’s latest news and information.

Recently Alan also purchased some gym benches for the Ipswich Rugby Club as a contribution to their campaign for this season and the future.

“Keeping a sports club in shape is an expensive business with equipment, building and pitch maintenance costs all adding up. If a few more local businesses could get involved in this way it would take some of the pressure off some of the clubs who do such a good job for grass roots sports,” he explains.

For more information on Ipswich Rugby Club and how to get involved visit: http://www.ipswichrugby.com/

For more information on Ingot Services specialist kitchen cleaning services which include kitchen deep cleaning, kitchen extract cleaning and duct work cleaning visit http://www.ingotservices.co.uk/ or call us free on 0800 731 7892

Friday, 3 February 2012

Ingot Celebrates Its Landmark 25th Anniversary

We are delighted to say that Ingot Services have been providing specialist cleaning services for commercial kitchens since 1987 (that’s a quarter of a century!) and we have grown from strength to strength over 25 years in business.
Alan Maynard, Managing Director of Ingot, joined the company 13 years ago and has been a major driving force behind our success. Since Alan’s arrival, Ingot’s workforce has grown from just one employee to 20 and we have won several lucrative contracts throughout the UK and enjoyed unprecedented growth.

Alan says of our success: “We provide an essential service
to a range of businesses nationwide. Our reputation, service and standard of
cleaning means that clients can depend on us for the ultimate deep clean
particularly for air extraction units, often an unknown and hidden fire risk.
Ingot really has some exciting times ahead and all of us here are proud to be flying the flag for successful independent businesses at a time when the climate is tough for so many. We feel our example can offer inspiration and hope to others."

2012 is set to be an even busier year for us at Ingot Services
with more major franchise contracts in the pipeline along with new local
projects that will benefit from this thriving and forward thinking company and

For more information on our services visit www.ingotservices.co.uk or call us
free on 0800 731 7892

Read more about our 25th anniversary here

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Duct Cleaning – Your Legal Responsibility

Duct cleaning is necessary to prevent dangerous build ups of dust, grease, bacteria and mould which can pose serious fire and health risks to the occupants of your building. The risks are so serious that duct cleaning is required by law. Businesses and organisations that fail to carry out duct cleaning to an adequate standard lay themselves open to fines and prosecution, and can lead to a business being shut down either temporarily or permanently.

But what does the law actually say about duct cleaning? And which types of business does it apply to?

Why Duct Cleaning is Required By Law

While Health and Safety law may be a source of humour for some, when it comes to duct cleaning the consequences of not complying with the law can be deadly serious.
Every year there are cases of fires in restaurants and commercial kitchens resulting from kitchen extract systems full of dust and grease. Just one spark from an open flame cooker can be enough to ignite the entire duct system, quickly spreading the fire throughout the building. If the restaurant is part of a larger building – for instance, on the ground floor of a hotel – the fire can easily spread upwards to the rest of the building, creating a deadly risk to all the building’s occupants.

The contents of uncleaned ductwork can include dangerous levels of mould and bacteria. In kitchens these airborne micro-organisms can contaminate food, endangering the health of diners. In other buildings a range of serious illnesses can be harboured including legionnaire’s disease and MRSA. While these are dangerous enough in healthy populations, they can be particularly deadly in schools, hospitals and nursing homes where the occupants have compromised or immature immune systems.

Even in buildings with healthy occupants such as office blocks, shops or factories, a build up of mould and bacteria within a ducting system can encourage the spread of illness through a population and can result in loss of productivity through sickness absence.

So it is no surprise to find the necessity for duct cleaning enshrined in law. This is enforced in two ways. Firstly, government inspectors can, especially in establishments such as restaurants and hotels, demand to see evidence of duct cleaning. Secondly, insurers insist on evidence of regular duct cleaning as a condition of providing fire insurance.

Duct Cleaning - contact Ingot today for a free quote on 0800 731 7892.

Duct Cleaning – The Law

Regular duct cleaning is required by law – several of them in fact. Here are the main laws which apply.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

This act makes it the responsibility of business owners to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all employees, and all non-employees (customers, visitors, other building occupants etc) who may be affected by business activities.More specifically, owners are required to ensure that premises, plant and machinery do not endanger the people using them – this would include cooking plant and associated kitchen extract systems.Further, employers are required to prevent and control noxious or offensive emissions into the atmosphere. While this has in mind things like fumes from chemical processes, it includes exposure to contaminated air from dirty air ducts.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

This law addresses the physical conditions of the workplace and requires employers to meet minimum standards across a range of issues. It specifically includes ventilation and general maintenance of buildings and equipment. Kitchen extract systems and air conditioning ducts clearly fall under this law.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

Under this law an employer must carry out a general risk assessment to minimise risks to health and safety.Specifically, a business owner is responsible for arranging implementation of measures necessary to prevent risk.So it is not enough to identify the possible risks from dirty air ducts – it is necessary to arrange duct cleaning on a regular basis in order to satisfy this law.

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Aka “The Fire Safety Order” this piece of legislation came into effect on 1st October 2006 and abolished the need for a “fire certificate” and instead made it the responsibility of business/building owners to have a more in-depth personal understanding of fire risk and to take reasonable steps to minimise risk.

A risk assessment is required to be carried out by an appointed “responsible person” (usually the business owner but this can be delegated) and if your building has ducting of any kind it should be included in the risk assessment. It is the job of the “responsible person” to arrange for any relevant precautions such as duct cleaning to be carried out.

In terms of enforcement, your premises may be visited at any time by an inspection officer from the local fire authority. The inspection officer has the right to entry and the right to require production of relevant documents. This will include a certificate showing that duct cleaning has been carried out within the last 2 years and by a suitably qualified company.

If duct cleaning cannot be shown to have been carried out the inspection officer has the right to issue an alterations notice or an enforcement notice (e.g. that duct cleaning be carried out within a specified timeframe). If the inspection officer believes that the state of the ducts poses a serious fire risk then a prohibition notice can be served to restrict the use of the premises for certain activities (e.g. cooking).

In other words, it can result in your business being effectively shut down. Repeated failure to comply can result in a fine or up to 2 years imprisonment, neither of which are good for business. And it seems that the number of successful prosecutions is rising since the introduction of this law, as the introduction of the “responsible person” makes it far easier for a fire authority to press a case against a specific person. Fines can vary depending on the severity of the case. In one case an Essex company was fined a whopping £240,000 for repeatedly ignoring this law.

Duct Cleaning - contact Ingot today for a free quote on 0800 731 7892.

Duct Cleaning – Does the Law Apply to Me?
These laws and regulations apply to any non-private premises i.e. just about any building other than a private residence.It applies to any building where members of the public may visit or stay, and any building where employees are present, whether or not it is open to the public. It includes all charitable organisations (e.g. offices and hostels). And it includes premises which although may be technically someone’s permanent residence, is nevertheless run as a business (e.g. care homes).

You should therefore assume that these regulations apply to you unless you have specific information that it does not.Some businesses or organisations may not have to worry about arranging compliance directly For instance if you rent offices in a managed building, it will likely be the building owner who is responsible for arranging duct cleaning. As a business owner you are obliged to show that you have carried out a fire risk assessment for your business. This should include checking that the building that you occupy has its own adequate fire safety in place - you should be able to ask to see the latest cleaning certificate and ask about the cleaning schedule.

Will Cleaning Every 2 Years Make Me Compliant?

Not necessarily. Cleaning every 2 years in the absolute minimum regardless of the type of building or activities within it. But the above laws make it clear that you are responsible for assessing the actual risk and putting in place arrangements to address that risk.So, if you run a high volume fast food restaurant with a bank of fryers and grills, you can expect your ducts to fill up with grease far quicker than if you run a sandwich and coffee shop. Similarly, a clothing factory or shop can expect air conditioning ducts to fill up with dust and cloth fibres much quicker than a office housing a few computers and a handful of people. Duct work needs to be regularly inspected to see if cleaning has become necessary and a schedule put in place which reflects the actual cleaning requirements of your particular establishment.

Duct Cleaning – How to Stay on the Right Side of the Law

Luckily, compliance with the law could hardly be easier. All that is required is a phone call to Ingot to arrange regular cleaning of your ductwork. We are HVCA approved and can provide the necessary certificates required by fire authorities and insurers. And if you are in doubt about whether you need to clean more frequently than the statutory 2 years, we can also arrange inspections to let you know whether more frequent cleaning might be necessary.

Duct Cleaning - contact Ingot today for a free quote on 0800 731 7892.

Duct Cleaning – Are You Meeting Your Duty of Care?

Duct cleaning is an essential part of maintaining your buildings. The legal requirement for duct cleaning (link to law article) is all based primarily around the need to exercise a “duty of care” towards people who spend time on your premises. Failing to arrange regular duct cleaning can present significant health and safety risks to your staff, your customers and to people in adjoining premises. But what exactly are these risks, and how serious are they?

The risks, and the seriousness of those risks, vary depending on the type of premises and business you are running, as well as the vulnerability of the occupants. Here are some typical types of premises requiring regular duct cleaning.

Duct Cleaning - contact Ingot today for a free quote on 0800 731 7892.

Duct Cleaning for Commercial Kitchens

In a commercial cleaning there will be two types of duct that require regular cleaning. The first is the kitchen extract system, which takes out steam and smoke from stoves and ovens. Kitchen extracts accumulate grease and dust over time which not only provides a breeding ground for microorganisms, but also poses a significant fire hazard. If a kitchen is located within a larger premises (e.g. within a hotel or adjoining other properties) then a lack of duct cleaning poses a fire risk to the whole building. Duct cleaning is therefore essential in all commercial kitchens to protect staff and customers from fire and microbial contamination.

Elsewhere in the kitchen may be additional general air ducts which require cleaning in the same way as other air conditioning ducts. Even if these ducts are away from the main cooking appliances, they will still tend to clog up more quickly, especially if there are fryers and grills in use.

Ideally, kitchen extract cleaning should be carried out as part of a comprehensive kitchen cleaning regime, including regular cleans and deep cleans of the entire kitchen. There is little point, for example, in arranging a deep clean of your kitchen, only to have significant levels of airborne microbes coming from the kitchen extract system and landing on surfaces and food.Ingot can conduct kitchen extract cleaning and kitchen deep cleaning on a scheduled or one-off basis to ensure the safety of your staff and customers.

Duct Cleaning - contact Ingot today for a free quote on 0800 731 7892.

Duct Cleaning in Medical Settings

If you run a hospital or nursing home, your duty of care is significantly increased and there is a need for especially thorough and frequent duct cleaning. Occupants of these medical settings are particularly vulnerable to infection from airborne micro-organisms and need to be protected from them to a greater degree than other people. Regular duct cleaning is an essential part of the ongoing fight against MRSA, for example.

While the law asks for duct cleaning to be carried out at least every 2 years, medical settings may require more frequent cleaning. However, duct cleaning can be disruptive, so it is advisable to carry out regular inspections and testing, along with very regular filter changes, to assess exactly when cleaning is necessary.

Duct Cleaning - contact Ingot today for a free quote on 0800 731 7892.

Duct Cleaning for Schools

Young children are also more susceptible to sources of airborne infection, so it is very important for schools to carry out regular duct cleaning in all their buildings. Ingot have particular experience of carrying out duct cleaning in schools and have recently won a contract to carry out school duct cleaning for Coventry City Council.

Duct Cleaning for Offices

Occupants of office blocks will tend not to be as vulnerable as those in schools and hospitals, but duct cleaning remains important even here to prevent the transmission of infections. Ducts which are not regularly cleaned can harbour bacteria and mould of all kinds, which can, over time, have a noticeable impact on the health of office workers. “Sick Building Syndrome” for instance, has been proven to be a real phenomenon and has been traced directly to ducts which have not been cleaned frequently enough. As well as making office workers feel generally unwell and more prone to colds and flu, there is obviously an impact on businesses from lost productivity due to sickness absences. All this can be avoided by scheduling regular 2-yearly duct cleaning.

Duct Cleaning in Hotels

Hotels owe a duty of care to all guests staying at the hotel, as well as staff who work there. And ensuring good air quality is an important part of that. Any hotel with ventilation ducts needs to arrange regular inspections and cleaning to ensure that mould and bacteria do not build up to dangerous levels. This risk is exacerbated in any building where there are higher ambient temperatures and higher moisture levels present – and hotels fall into this category. In a hotel where each room has an ensuite bathroom and most guests can be expected to have a bath or shower on most days, moisture levels can become a significant problem. Good air conditioning systems can assist greatly with this, but the ducts used for the air conditioning need to be regularly cleaned to avoid a build up of dust.

How to Meet Your Duty of Care

Meeting your duty of care is actually extremely straightforward. Simply employ a reputable duct cleaning firm who are HVAC certified to carry out duct cleaning to the necessary standards. Then arrange for regular inspections and cleans on a schedule appropriate to your setting. Having your duct cleaning on a schedule makes planning around them easier, and the costs involved more easily budgeted for.

Ingot provide duct cleaning services to private businesses and as well as to organisations owned and run by local authorities.

Duct Cleaning - contact Ingot today for a free quote on 0800 731 7892.