(photo: Graham Carlow)
22.11.2019, 12:22

Keeping Ventilation Compliant this Christmas

The Indoor Environment, Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning (HVAC), EMEA, Environmental Management, United Kingdom
Jamie Woodhall, Technical & Innovations Manager at Rentokil Specialist Hygiene, takes a close look at the Building Engineering Services Association's (BESA) TR19 standard for duct, kitchen extract, and air handling cleaning.


Hospitality businesses across the country are gearing up for the next big event in the calendar; Christmas. As decorations are donned and diaries fill up with festive plans, restaurants, bars and hotels must ensure they are prepared for the Christmas rush.


This starts with hygiene, and nowhere is that more important than within commercial kitchens. While it becomes a lot harder to stay on top of your cleaning regime during busy periods, failure to maintain high standards in a kitchen environment could lead to a situation that compromises the health and safety of customers and staff.


Ventilation cleaning forms a key part of this. It’s a legal requirement for managers and building owners to ensure that any enclosed workplaces, especially those in the kitchen, are ventilated with fresh, purified air.


Dangers of clogged ventilation

During cooking, airborne grease, carbon and steam can condense on the inner walls of kitchen ventilation ducts. Failure to clean these systems can result in a build-up of grease and fat deposits, reduced airflow and foul odours.


What’s more, unclean ventilation systems can also pose a significant fire hazard. It’s estimated that 70 per cent of fires in commercial kitchens originate in faulty extract ventilation systems due to the build-up of fat or grease. Fires within ductwork can be difficult to stop as they’re often inaccessible and can quickly spread to other areas of the building.


With the busiest period of the year for hospitality businesses around the corner, now is the perfect time to draft in the help of specialist ventilation cleaning services to remove grease and carbon deposits from your extractor fan and ducting.


Meeting the standards 

TR19 is a standard introduced by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) as a way to standardise duct, kitchen extract, and air handling cleaning in the UK. It has become the go-to standard that all commercial kitchens must meet.


Being compliant means ensuring adequate access is provided to ductwork, inspection mechanisms, cleaning processes and post-cleaning verification methods are met


Effective ventilation cleaning 

In order to ensure ducts and vents are properly cleaned, commercial kitchens should bring in professionals at least four times a year. Rentokil Specialist Hygiene use a wet film comb or an Elcometer 465 a thickness gauge with a scan probe to measure the levels of grease  in a commercial kitchen’s system. From this, accurate readings of the thickness of any dry deposits in air handling systems are given, which is then collated into a detailed, TR19 compliant report.


Images, schematic drawings and recommendations form part of this, which can be used as evidence of monitoring and adherence with recognised standards. What’s more, these cleaning services can happen at a time that’s most convenient for the business – e.g. in kitchen downtime – to ensure minimal disruption to business. 


In addition to being compliant, an air handling system cleaned to TR19 standards is more likely to ventilate fresh air. According to a study by Harvard and Syracuse Universities, higher air quality has been shown to improve the productivity of workers in buildings by up to 60%. Regular cleaning of ventilation systems will also improve the efficiency of the machinery, helping to reduce costs associated with its usage and maintenance.


Final thoughts 

In the hospitality industry, cleanliness and hygiene is vital for health and safety. So before Christmas runs away with you, make sure all your commercial kitchen ventilation and duct systems have undergone an intensive clean. This will give you peace of mind that your premises is hygienic and safe in preparation for the festive rush.


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