Should your Commercial Kitchen Ductwork be Leaking?

Unavoidable fact – airborne grease collected by metal kitchen grease filters eventually gets extracted further into system components such as the hood, ductwork, and fan. This is why commercial kitchens are required to routinely clean filters as well as the entire exhaust system – to mitigate their fire risk. Straightforward right? Not always…

Kitchen exhaust ductwork that is incorrectly designed and/or duct cleaning contractors not doing their job in it’s entirety can allow any liquid grease build-up to leak through the seams between cleans. This soaks into the ceiling cavity, bulkhead, electrical wiring, and other roofing elements. This creates a fire hazard as well as property damage and risk of human injury due to slippage.

A grease-soaked kitchen ceiling space contributed to the deaths of two attending fire fighters in a commercial kitchen fire in the USA in 2007. Grease in the ceiling space burned undetected for an hour prior to flashing over violently causing a ceiling to collapse on the firefighters below.


How well do you know your kitchen exhaust system?

Checking that flux, silicone and/or epoxy seals over weld joints are air- and liquid-tight upon commissioning and during routine cleans is vital. Yet, workmanship and often unfamiliarity of the codes leave many owners with kitchen exhaust systems that will create problems and expense down the road.

Shepherd Filters has come across ductwork leaking grease on several routine site visits over the years and each time, the business in question was not aware of the issue. Not only have duct cleaning contractors not cleaned these areas, they have failed to report the issue to the customer! What’s worse, they often mask the issue in unsatisfactory ways and below is one such example:

Aluminium BBQ trays that are purchased at local supermarkets are not a satisfactory way to manage leaking ductwork! Yet it get’s worse, one site had plastic ice-cream containers!

Quick fixes are not only dangerous, they will eventually fail. Unfortunately, there are no safeguards or regulations in place to keep any of this from occurring. And when problems do occur, the inevitable finger pointing ensues.

So how can you make sure you are not at risk?

Firstly, gain access to see your ductwork to inspect the system yourself, don’t just rely on cleaning reports! Secondly, stop up to 98% of airborne grease from building up inside your system in the first place by considering whether the Shepherd Filters solution might be right for your business:

Contact us today!

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