Commercial kitchen exhaust systems help to reduce the risk of fire by removing fumes, heat, grease, and other products of combustion present in the air around the kitchen area.
This article provides important information for restaurant owners looking to invest in a commercial kitchen exhaust system.
Structural Requirements For Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Systems
Commercial kitchen exhaust systems should be made of a hard-faced, impervious, and non-combustible material. Stainless steel is an example of one such material. A restaurant owner is expected to ensure that the material used to fabricate the exhaust system is adequately reinforced wherever necessary for maximum stability.
Also, the construction of kitchen exhaust systems should be such that joints and seams are liquid-tight and have a smooth-faced appearance. In the ideal situation, seams and joints on a kitchen exhaust system should have been welded continuously or they should have been riveted.
Alternatively, joints within the structure of the exhaust system should be sealed continuously using a sealing compound that is immune to the action of cleaning agents, water, and grease (e.g., silicone rubber).
Requirements For Exhaust Systems That Handle Grease Vapour
There are additional requirements for restaurants in which kitchen operations produce grease vapour. For one, affected restaurant owners need to invest in grease arresting filters that should be incorporated into the commercial kitchen exhaust system.
The number of grease arresting filters required will differ from one restaurant to other. As a general rule of thumb, the number of filters, their size, and their distribution within the exhaust system should ensure that the rate at which grease vapour flows through each filter does not go beyond that specified by the manufacturer.
Kitchen exhaust systems that handle grease vapour should also have a drainage system that facilitates the safe collection and safe disposal of grease vapour without spillage.
Repairs And Maintenance On Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Systems
Maintenance is the lifeline of a commercial kitchen exhaust system. The grease arresting filters in a kitchen exhaust system are designed to be a perfect fit. In the same breath, they can easily be detached from the exhaust system. DIY maintenance of commercial kitchen exhaust systems should not go beyond the regular cleaning of air filters. Restaurant owners (and their employees) should not attempt to handle complex maintenance procedures (e.g., cleaning internal surfaces of the exhaust ductwork) on their own. It's best to hire a commercial kitchen cleaning service for such a job.
Repairs to commercial kitchen exhaust systems should only be handled by a qualified kitchen exhaust repair contractor or company.