Fire In The Ducts
Concerns Grow Amid Recent Commercial Kitchen Fire Cases
Kitchen fires are a serious issue in the UK, with recent incidents such as the Poundbury kitchen and Belgravia restaurant blazes in March, along with the building fire in Shoreditch in February highlighting the importance of fire safety awareness and prevention measures.
The Poundbury kitchen blaze caused extensive damage to a residential development in Dorset, with the fire originating in the kitchen and quickly spreading throughout the building. While no injuries were reported, the incident is a reminder of the hazards associated with kitchen fires.
More recently, the Belgravia fire is believed to have been caused by the ignition of oil and fat within the extractor hood and ducting leading to part of the basement and a small part of the offices on the first floor being damaged. All of the ducting (extraction system), from the basement to the roof level, was destroyed in the blaze.
Similarly, the building fire in Shoreditch was caused by a kitchen fire that quickly spread due to the presence of flammable materials. The blaze took several hours to extinguish, with multiple injuries reported.
Common Fire Factors
Common factors leading to kitchen fires include; unattended cooking, faulty appliances, electrical faults, and the misuse of flammable materials such as oil and gas. Prevention measures can help to reduce the risk of such incidents, including regular maintenance of appliances and avoiding leaving cooking unattended. Around a quarter of the 24,000 non domestic fires in the UK caused by cooking appliances. On top of this, there is another significant factor that is often overlooked, which is the need for kitchen extract cleaning.
Essential Cleaning To Prevent Kitchen Fires
Kitchen extract systems are an essential component of commercial kitchens, and when they become clogged with grease and other contaminants, they can quickly become a fire hazard. This is because grease deposits inside the extract ductwork can ignite, leading to a fire that can quickly spread throughout the kitchen and beyond.
According to BESCA 90% of fires in catering premises are intensified by ignition of deposits inside grease extract ductwork.
To prevent such incidents, it is essential to ensure that kitchen extract systems are cleaned regularly and to a high standard. This includes not only cleaning the visible parts of the system but also the internal ductwork, where grease deposits can accumulate.
Top Tips From Fire Fighters
To prevent fires in restaurants, firefighters recommend:
- Scheduling regular cleaning for the ducting in your extraction system (ventilation).
- Ensuring that the ducting is installed correctly.
- Being extra cautious when cooking with hot oil, as it can quickly overheat and ignite.
- Avoiding filling the pan more than one-third full of fat or oil.
- Ensuring that the food is dry before putting it in hot oil, as oil and water are a dangerous combination.
- Opting for electronic deep fat fryers with automatic temperature controls for enhanced safety.
- Regularly testing the electrical system.
- Conducting a Fire Risk Assessment and creating an emergency plan.
Rely On Our Dream Clean Team
It is important to note that kitchen extract cleaning should be performed by trained professionals who can ensure that the work is compliant with national standards. Our expert team of engineers provides kitchen extract cleaning works that are compliant to the National standard of BESA TR19.
By ensuring that kitchen extract systems are regularly cleaned to a high standard, we can help to reduce the risk of kitchen fires and keep commercial kitchens safe. Along with other prevention measures such as regular maintenance and avoiding leaving cooking unattended, kitchen extract cleaning is a crucial aspect of fire safety in commercial kitchens.
In conclusion, recent kitchen fires in the UK serve as a reminder of the importance of fire safety awareness and prevention measures. Regular maintenance of appliances, avoiding leaving cooking unattended, and kitchen extract cleaning are all essential components of fire safety in commercial kitchens. By working with trained professionals who provide compliant cleaning services, we can help to reduce the risk of kitchen fires and keep our communities safe.