From time to time, news stories surface that illustrate why restaurant owners need to periodically clean their kitchen exhaust systems:
The kitchen and roof of a Soldotna-area Chinese restaurant were damaged in grease fire Wednesday.
Dispatchers received a report of the fire at Golden International Chinese Restaurant at 12:17 p.m., said Central Emergency Services Deputy Chief Dan Grimes.
Approximately 14 emergency personnel responded to the restaurant on the Sterling Highway just outside Soldotna.
If it took 14 emergency personnel to respond to this fire, it wasn’t small. And notice this part:
Crews were sent to the roof of the building to check if the fire had extended from the kitchen hood system into the roof, Grimes said.
”We did find some fire extension on the hood in the roof, and we extinguished that,” Grimes said.
That says it all. A restaurant kitchen – which may be in use for as many as 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and tends to be heavily ventilated – doesn’t just have the risk of a grease fire on the stove itself. That ventilation system pulls grease upward into the vent hood and ductwork. Meaning that a poorly cleaned exhaust system can turn that restaurant kitchen into a firetrap.
In this case, the restaurant was just prepping to open for the day, so fortunately there were no customers inside. But if this restaurant can’t prove that they had regular kitchen exhaust cleaning services performed, their insurance company may refuse to pay damages.
If you’re running a restaurant, keep that exhaust system cleaned! It’s a way to protect your investment and keep people safe. And it’s the law. To find out if we can help you, contact us today.