As a former restaurant manager, I relied on my Kitchen Exhaust Cleaner to help manage and maintain my exhaust system. Making sure a restaurant is within NFPA 96 code and safe from potential fire, are two paramount responsibilities of any exhaust cleaning company.
Like most front of house managers, I was naive to the importance of maintaining the exhaust system properly. I had a maintenance program set up for our baffle filters and polished our hoods, but that was the extent of my involvement. I put my trust in the hood cleaner to manage the rest.
Vent Hood with Filters in Place
The “bottom line” is always at the forefront of running any business. With that in mind, another exhaust cleaner approached me, and he was able to under bid my current vendor by a significant amount. I was operating under the misconception that the service and product would be equal, so I went with the lowest bid and based by decision solely on price. The service seemed to be the same and both parties seemed happy with the relationship.
After leaving this particular restaurant to come work with Hood Boss, the opportunity to inspect and bid my previous workplace presented itself. Now, on the other side of the relationship as a vendor, I understand the meaning of, “inspect what you expect.”
The previous company had not held up its responsibility to maintain the system properly. Horizontal duct work had not been serviced and thus leaving the system at risk of fire. The exhaust fans had been neglected which caused expensive roof damage. There were inaccessible areas that had not been addressed that resulted in excessive grease build up. I thought that the kitchen exhaust cleaning company I selected was handling all of these issues, and I was unaware of the neglect, potential hazards, and damage that was being done by the improperly handling of the job that they were hired to do.
Whether it was neglect or incompetence, these issues were not managed properly. Following up with your vendor’s work is an important part of managing your exhaust system. Managing you exhaust system properly will reduce the risk of fire and prolong the life of your system. Most companies offer complimentary inspections of your system. I recommend having your exhaust system periodically inspected by another cleaning company
If you have any questions or concerns, go to our website www.thehoodboss.com or call 972-704-1812.
I recently came across an article published by Society Insurance called, “Identify and Eliminate Restaurant Fires” that I wanted to share. It covers steps on how to help identify and eliminate restaurant fires. It’s worth the quick read if you are involved in the management of equipment or maintenance procedures of a restaurant.
Kitchen exhaust systems and fire suppression systems, as noted in the article, account for 21% of restaurant fires. Don’t be shut down by a restaurant fire. No matter what your relationship is with your current vendor, it never hurts to have an inspection performed on the current service being provided. Most companies will do this for you at no charge in order to provide a quote for the service for you to keep on file. Through the process of the inspection performed, you may educate yourself further on the service in question. This can help you manage your maintenance procedures with a better understanding of the codes relating to them.
We recently published another article that you may find helpful on this subject called “How to Maintain your exhaust system between services“.
If we can be of any assistance to you please do not hesitate to call at 972-704-1812 or you can visit us at our website at www.thehoodboss.com.
As a restaurant manager, there are a lot of maintenance programs that you monitor on a weekly basis. None should be more important than the maintenance of your exhaust system. Setting up proper maintenance of your exhaust system between services helps reduce the risk of fire in your facility, and it can actually help decrease the frequency of your exhaust system cleanings.
In our published article on the Hood Boss website titled, “Baffle Filter Cleaning,” we discuss the importance of proper maintenance of your baffle filters. The cleaning of your baffle filters is very important due to the fact that a standard baffle filter collects 30-40% of grease that enters your system.
Another portion of your exhaust system that should be maintained on a regular basis is the filter track. The filter track is the bottom portion of the hood that your filters sit in and allows the filters to drain the grease that they collect. As the grease drains out of the filters, it follows the channel over to the grease cup that collects the run off from the filters. The grease that collects in this track and the grease collector become a fire hazard faster than the rest of the system.
If you are unaware of what level of grease accumulation requires cleaning, please read our article, “When to Clean your Kitchen Exhaust Hood.” The lower filter track and grease collector should be cleaned out when the baffle filter cleaning occurs for each exhaust system in your facility. To clean out the filter track you only need a hand towel to drain the grease to the grease collector and another to wipe out the track when finished.
Vent Hood with Filters in Place
Vent Hood without filters showing lower track
Cleaning the lower filter track when you are removing the filters for their scheduled maintenance can help reduce heavy accumulation between cleanings. In some cases, this maintenance can help extend the amount of time between exhaust cleanings of your system and reduce the risk of fire due to heavy accumulation. We recommend putting a maintenance plan in place for your hood system and monitoring the grease accumulation with a grease comb. If you do not have a grease comb, you should reach out to your hood cleaning provider. If they do not have them, please give us a call and we would be more than willing to get you one.
Vent hood Lower filter track showing grease accumulation
If you have any questions on how to set up a proper maintenance schedule for your exhaust system, please give us a call at 972-704-1812 or visit us at www.thehoodboss.com.