Chef in commercial kitchen with fire pan

Commercial Ventilation Fundamentals

Compared to a home kitchen, which may see a handful of meals made throughout the day, commercial kitchens can generate many more meals in a short amount of time. That equates to more smoke, grease buildup, and potentially more carbon monoxide buildup should it use gas appliances. Most food establishments have certain fire codes that they have to adhere to in order to operate in their area, and since there are so many potential fail points that can be present in a commercial kitchen, it is up to management to ensure that the work environment is safe and up to code.

Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors in the Kitchen

It is always a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home wherever gas appliances are used, and the same applies to commercial kitchens. Whenever a pilot light goes out or a gas line develops a breach, carbon monoxide can slowly build up and cause a risk of fire should it happen upon an open flame.

Most commercial kitchens will have a ventilation system in place over their ovens and other cooking equipment, which can help prevent carbon monoxide from even building up. Should any of these components happen to fail, carbon monoxide detectors can help keep workers and patrons alike safe.

Create and Adhere to a Consistent Cleaning Schedule

When working in a high volume commercial kitchen, it is important to clean the hood vent covers and the vent itself on a regular basis. This task is usually completed by a specialized team who removes excess grease buildup from the inside of the vent. This helps prevent fire hazards and extends the life of all its components. 

Most hood vents are scheduled to be cleaned every 6 months, but vary by district and state. Other tasks like removing grease from the exterior of the assembly, including the hood vent covers, can be completed by an employee and don’t require any special training. How often you should be cleaning hood vent covers depends on the volume your facility receives, but regular maintenance may be required by your district. Contact your local inspector for more information.

Ensure That Your Fire Suppression System is Functional

Given the harsh environment of commercial kitchens, it is important to put a fire suppression system in place that can be easily triggered when needed. These are typically thin pipes that terminate at a nozzle, which sprays a fire retardant chemical that is typically rated for suppressing grease fires.

Inspections on this system are typically performed annually, and maintaining the system is as simple as wiping excess grease from the exterior of the assembly and ensuring that the nozzle has a rubber cap in place.

How FAMCO Can Help

FAMCO is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of HVAC parts and accessories. We have a wide variety of top-quality HVAC components for home and commercial purposes. If you would like to learn more about how FAMCO can help your commercial kitchen stay safe, give us a call or send us an email. We’ll be more than happy to help.

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