Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Duct Cleaning: Advice from Commercial Kitchen Cleaners Ingot

Duct Cleaning: A guide to fire safety in restaurants and catering premises from commercial kitchen cleaners Ingot Services 

Taking Steps to Ensure Fire Safety in Commercial Kitchens

Fires are a risk which people operating commercial kitchens must constantly guard against. There are various regulations which need to be borne in mind, covering everything from alarms to duct cleaning.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it's a legal requirement for business owners, including those running catering establishments, to carry out a fire safety risk assessment. This involves identifying any potential hazards and planning escape routes in the event of a fire. These routes must then be kept clear of obstructions, and fire doors must not be wedged open. Fuel and combustible items must be safely stored, well away from any potential sources of heat.

Staff also need to be trained in how to react if fire does break out. If five or more people work in the premises or the restaurant is licensed, then records have to be kept of the fire risk assessment, which is also good practice in any case.

Fire Alarms: Having working fire alarms is a legal obligation and restaurant owners have been fined for failing to do this. There have been cases of people in restaurant kitchens turning off alarms to avoid them being set off during cooking, but this is a dangerous practice, as well as being illegal. It is possible to install specialist alarm systems which won't be set off by ordinary cooking, and to site them in a way which will also avoid this. 

Fire Extinguishers: It is essential that all restaurants have fire extinguishers installed, which must be suitable for the size of premises and the type of cooking carried out. You will need at least one wet chemical extinguisher and a fire blanket. Increasingly, restaurants are choosing to install specialist fire suppression systems, which can both detect a fire in a commercial kitchen and immediately act to extinguish it. These systems are especially advisable if you use deep fat fryers. 

Safe Use of Equipment: All equipment in commercial kitchens needs to be installed in line with manufacturers' instructions, but that is just the start. The equipment must also be well-maintained. Gas Safe registered engineers are needed to service gas cookers, while an automatic shut-off at high temperatures is a valuable precaution for fryers. Keeping cooking equipment clean and avoiding grease and fat build-up is also essential, not only from a hygiene point of view, but to avoid fire risks. This is one of the many reasons why industrial oven cleaning and regularly-scheduled deep kitchen cleaning are both musts.

Kitchen Extract Systems: Extract duct systems in restaurant kitchens must be properly installed, with the correct clearance from ceilings. Kitchen ductwork also needs to be kept clean and free of dirt and grease build-up, which poses both health and fire hazards. As experts in duct cleaning, Ingot can advise you on the best cleaning schedule for your kitchen extracts. We issue certificates and keep full records for your peace of mind so you can prove that your extraction system is being kept properly clean. 

Ingot's industrial and commercial cleaning service is available to businesses across the UK, including those in Ipswich, Suffolk, Norwich, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and London. Get in touch now to find out more about our duct cleaning service.