Restaurants Can Be At Risk For Grease Fires

One problem that every restaurant from the diner down the road to the most upscale haute cuisine place fears is a kitchen fire. A kitchen fire can shut down a restaurant for weeks or even months to get it all cleaned up and restored, and if the fire is bad enough, the restaurant may be a complete write-off. In a commercial kitchen, like a restaurant, the biggest risk of fire is grease, and that risk isn't just from the cooking grease while it's being used, it can also be from the grease that is caught in the duct works. 

Grease Duct

Commercial kitchens should have at least one grease duct, preferably near the fryers and stoves. If the kitchen is very large, it may need to have two or more grease ducts. These ducts are created to carry the vapors and airborne grease particles away from the cooking areas and up and out of the building. 

Duct Fires

When those grease vapors start to cool back down, they condense onto a cooler surface, in this case, the sides of the duct. As they condense, the duct gets smaller because of the buildup on the sides. The filters on the ducts also get clogged up with grease droplets, which further decreases the efficiency of the duct. Grease also is a great attractor. All the dust and lint flying around gets stuck to the grease and can make a very nasty mess. At that point, all it can take is one spark and everything inside the grease duct can catch on fire and spread to the rest of the kitchen since there will also be grease in the kitchen. The spark could be just about anything, including a fire in a pan that is below the grease duct. 

Preventing Duct Fires

Most places require that restaurants have the grease ducts because they generally work as part of a passive fire system. Those states or cities generally also require that the grease duct gets cleaned regularly. To get the duct really clean means that a professional has to do it. The kitchen will have to be shut down, so generally, the cleaning is done at night after closing. The duct cleaners will remove all the external parts of the duct, like a fan or hood, and clean them down to bare metal. They will also send tools through the duct itself, from both inside and outside, to get all the grease out of the duct. 

Grease fires can be a huge problem in restaurants. Proper equipment and maintenance can cut down on the risk. For more information, contact local professionals like Hooten Equipment Company LLC.