The National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 96 (NFPA Kitchen Hood Cleaning Requirements) requires trained and certified personnel to clean restaurant kitchen hoods and exhausts on a regular basis (NFPA 96-11.4). Their mandated cleaning schedule is as follows:
- Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations: Monthly
- Systems serving high-volume cooking operations such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling, or wok cooking: Quarterly
- Systems serving moderate-volume cooking operations: Semiannually
- Systems serving low-volume cooking operations, such as churches, day camps, seasonal businesses, or senior centers: Annually
According to NFPA-96 section 11.6.1(NFPA Kitchen Hood Cleaning Requirements): “Upon inspection, if found to be contaminated with deposits from grease-laden vapors, the entire exhaust system shall be cleaned by a properly trained, qualified, and certified company or person(s) acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction in accordance with Section 11.4.”
The entire exhaust system includes the hood, filters, fan and all associated horizontal and vertical ductwork.
In addition, NFPA-96 section 11.6.2 states (NFPA Kitchen Hood Cleaning Requirements): “Hoods, grease removal devices, fans, ducts, and other appurtenances shall be cleaned to remove combustible contaminants prior to surfaces becoming heavily contaminated with grease or oily sludge.”
Grease and particulate buildup in the exhaust system is a fire hazard, and greatly impacts on the efficiency and lifetime of mechanical equipment. According to the NFPA, the majority of restaurant fires originate on the kitchen cooking appliances and flare into the kitchen exhaust system. If the entire exhaust system is not cleaned, a significant risk for fire exists whenever cooking appliances are used.
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