Hood Boss has put together this introduction to your Kitchen Exhaust System. This video walks you through the different components that make up your Kitchen Exhaust System. It also walks you through the cleaning process and maintenance involved between services. As a courtesy we have thrown in a few trouble shooting tips for your exhaust fan if it stops working. We feel its important to educate yourself and your staff on how you vent hood works, how to trouble shoot issues with your system, and what to maintain between services. Please don’t hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns. Hood Boss would be happy to help provide information and/or give an in person orientation to your staff. Follow this link to learn more.
In this article by Robert Fiorito, he discusses the importance of day to day awareness in the kitchen. During daily operations, the threat of fire can be a fleeting thought when the restaurant is slammed busy or even in the slower down times. These lapses in awareness allow for the possibility of kitchen fires. Minimizing these lapses comes down to proper training, preventative maintenance, and proper inspection/cleaning schedules. All kitchen fires can be prevented with the proper systems in place. Follow this link to learn more.
Solid fuel cooking is becoming a staple in many kitchens across the nation. Whether it be a wood burning pizza oven, a smoker pit, or even a charcoal fired grill; there are certain hazards that are inherent to this cooking style. In this article by Alex Garrote (a restaurant fire protection specialist at Cleveland-based ABCO Fire Protection), he covers a few factors that are extremely important to reducing the risks involved with solid fuel cooking. Follow this link to learn more.
I ran across this great article in Retail & Restaurant Facility Business regarding the “consequences of not using trained and certified KEC technicians.” Restaurant owners always have the bottom line in mind when it comes to daily operations. Preventative maintenance and inspections are usually the first thing to get cut when money gets tight. This article puts into perspective the importance of not skimping on the areas that are ultimately in place to protect your investment. Follow this link to learn more:
Does your Kitchen Exhaust Fan meet code?
Most restaurant managers are so tied up with the day to day operations inside the kitchen that they have no idea of the potential hazards that are occurring on their roof tops. There are a few simple things to look for that can help assure your fan is up to code and that you avoid potential down time for your restaurant or damage to your exhaust fan.
The first thing to inspect is to see if your up-blast fan (or bowl shaped fan) has a hinge kit installed. The Importance of a hinge kit is to allow access to the vertical duct of your exhaust system by allowing the fan to open to a ninety degree angle. This provides proper access to the duct to clean your kitchen exhaust system properly without harming the mechanics or structural integrity of the fan. A typical exhaust fan weighs around 125lbs and is made of spun aluminum. The material can be bent very easily in the cleaning process even when extreme precaution is taken.
The next thing to inspect is the electrical conduit on your exhaust fan. You want to look for two things. The first is that the electrical conduit is run externally from the duct curb into the fan housing of the fan see photo below.
The importance of this is to insure that the wiring for the fan is not exposed to grease build up within the system and keep the wiring from becoming damaged from taking the fan on and off during the cleaning process. The removal of the exhaust fan during cleanings can cause wiring to become exposed and potentially cause a fire or breaker to trip from metal to metal contact. This can cause costly down time for your restaurant.
Once you have insured that the wiring is ran externally, the second item to look for is inspecting the integrity of the wiring. The external wiring should be ran through weather proof conduit it to protect it from exposure to rain and grease from the system. See Photo Below
NFPA 96 – 184.108.40.206 states that Rooftop termination shall be arranged with or provided with the following:(8) A hinged up-blast fan supplied with flexible weatherproof electrical cable and service hold-open retainer to permit inspection and cleaning that is listed for commercial cooking equipment. It is very important to make sure that the wiring on your roof top is not exposed to the weather conditions. Wiring that is exposed can cause fires if introduced to grease on the roof top and/or cause the fan to short out at any given time costing your business time and money.
NFPA 96 – 220.127.116.11 states that – Approved up-blast fans with motors surrounded by the airstream shall be hinged, supplied with flexible weatherproof electrical cable and service hold-open retainers, and listed for this use.
A common struggle of anyone who has had the pleasure of going through restaurant construction or building finish out can be the sacrifices, compromises, and changes that often occur during the building process. The architect comes up with a design that is going to beautiful. He hands the plans off to the contractor and explains his vision, only to be returned by a blank stare and the very apparent thought bubble that reads, “How does this guy expect me to put this together?” The plans were sound, but the execution can sometimes be more of a challenge often adding important things to the budget such as time and especially money.
Often in these cases, one thing that gets overlooked is the maintenance of certain equipment long after the architect and contractors are paid and gone. In particular, concessions might have been made in regards to the duct work for your kitchen exhaust system.
It is important to know how the Kitchen Exhaust System works. The exhaust fan pulls away the smoke and the grease from the vent hood in the kitchen. These two components are connected somehow by a series of duct work. The most efficient way, not only in performance but in cost to maintain, is to have the exhaust duct work run vertically from the hood to the external exhaust fan above. These are the most common systems, and you will find that there is a market value for cost to maintain these systems and keep them up to code. However, there is always going to be the case where certain design or structural elements forbid the exhaust ducts to run vertically. In these circumstances, a horizontal exhaust duct will have to be put in place to connect the vertical duct work together. While not really affecting the performance of the system, the maintenance required is marginally more difficult based on the length of the horizontal run. There are other factors dictated by the NFPA 96 code that pertain to horizontal duct work such as the required amount of access panels and the slope of the plane needed. The bottom line is that any length of horizontal duct work is going to add to the scope of maintaining the system not only in time but in money.
It is always a good practice when budgeting to have a kitchen exhaust cleaning professional give their opinion during the design phase of your project. Often these services can be offered at little to no cost depending on the size of the project. In many cases, the initial cost of having the system designed and constructed to be maintenance friendly will be highly outweighed by the lower costs of keeping the system safe and up to code.
If you have any question please do not hesitate to call us at 972-704-1812 or visit us at www.thehoodboss.com.