The cleaning of Canopies can reduce the most common cause of Kitchen fires. A fire risk assessment should be undertaken. Insurance policies can be invalid if regular cleaning by a specialist extract cleaning company has not been done recorded & certificated.
What the law says
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
These Regulations require that employers provide effective and suitable ventilation in every enclosed workplace. This includes kitchens, which need ventilation to create a safe and comfortable working environment. Catering and cooking can produce significant amounts of fumes and vapours, as well as large amounts of heat. Mechanical extraction, via a canopy hood installed over the cooking appliances, can remove these fumes and vapour and discharge them to a safe location.
The objectives of an effective kitchen ventilation system are to:
- remove cooking fumes at source, ie at the appliance;
- remove excess hot air and bring in cool, clean air, so the working environment is comfortable. Inadequate ventilation can cause stress, contributing to unsafe systems of work and high staff turnover;
- make sure that the air movement in the kitchen does not cause discomfort, eg from strong draughts;
- provide enough air for complete combustion at fired appliances, and prevent the risk of carbon monoxide accumulating;
- be easy to clean, avoiding build-up of fat residues and blocked air inlets, which lead to loss of efficiency and increased risk of fire;
- be quiet and vibration free.
The canopy hood needs to be designed and operated to ensure effective removal of cooking fumes. It needs to be a suitable size and have enough extraction to minimise fume spillage into the kitchen. There should be a canopy hood for every appliance and other sources generating fumes and heat. The canopy hood should be as close as possible to the source, taking into account the work requirements.
The airflow into the canopy should be uniform and constant, and meet the appropriate design flow for the appliances and room ventilation rate. Canopies and ductwork need to be constructed from non-combustible material and made so they discourage accumulations of dirt or grease, and condensation. There should be suitable access to the ductwork, to allow regular cleaning to prevent accumulation of fat etc. Grease filters need to be readily removable for cleaning/replacement.
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
The Act places duties on anyone in control of premises who makes them available as a place of work for others to take reasonable measures to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the premises, plant and equipment are safe and without risks to health.