Cleaning your extractor hood regularly is vitally important to ensure a clean and sanitary kitchen and restaurant. Unfortunately, many in the restaurant industry seem to overlook the cleanliness of their extractor hood. This is a mistake with enormous consequences, most importantly whenever involving fires and simple sanitary conditions.
One of the most important, and indeed overlooked, reasons to clean your extractor hood is to ensure that in cases of emergency, a fire or smoke can be vented properly. When it comes to a grease fire, an all too common catastrophe for many restaurants, having a clean and operating extractor hood can make the difference between leaving a restaurant into a pile of ash, to having to simply clean up. In fact, grease fires are among the most commonly reported cases of fire. Also, more times than not, these grease fires end up damaging the restaurant far more gravely than it needed to be, had it been cleaned and working properly in the first place. In fact, it’s common for fires to start in the kitchen by simply having a clogged or dirty extractor hood because it overheats to the point of starting a fire itself.
Sanitary and Health Reasons
If you have ever lived in a place with a ceiling fan, you might have noticed the build up of dust on the fan’s blades. This build up is natural, however, now imagine your ceiling fan operating nearly non-stop, pulling in grease fumes, smoke, odors, and steam. By the end of just one day, the inside of that hood will most likely have built up much more than dust, but rather, sludge. It is common, if not taken care of for months, that the extractor hood will end up leaking onto whatever lies below it. Also, due to the extractor hood’s role in sucking in air, a dirty and unmaintained one can sometimes end up doing the opposite. There have been reported cases where an extractor hood had a leak, which it poured a portion of what it sucked in back into the area. Given the size of the leak, this can have enormous dangers.
Aside from the obvious health risks posed by not cleaning an extractor hood regularly, in many places, it is the law to ensure that along with the restaurant as a whole, it meets requirements of cleanliness. Whenever inspectors assess a restaurant, extractor hoods are one of the greatly inspected items, second only to a walk-in refrigerator. Fire inspectors will often fail an inspection from the mere appearance of a dirty extractor hood.
An extractor hood to many is simply a vent that clears up the kitchen from steam and smoke when in reality, it is a system of the kitchen. A system that needs maintenance like all other mechanical systems. The extractor is also a life saver of sorts. For a fire to develop in a kitchen, regardless of how large the kitchen, needs little to no imagination. So it’s vitally important to check up on your extractor hood. By spending a few minutes every day giving your extractor hood a quick check, you can avoid creating a hazard for yourself and those around you.
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