As many commercial kitchen owners might know, a kitchen exhaust, flue, range hood, or kitchen hood is an important piece of equipment that contains a mechanical fan. These devices remove heat, moisture, toxic fumes, airborne grease, and steam and smoke as byproducts of cooking. Although not all commercial structures have building codes requiring that a kitchen exhaust be installed, having one is certainly beneficial in many cases.
However, just having a kitchen flue is not enough to keep your kitchen safe and sound. Cleaning your flue is also a must. In fact, there are significant risks for failing to clean your exhaust on a minimum of a monthly basis.
One of the greatest hazards a greasy kitchen exhaust can pose for your kitchen is the risk of a flash fire. Such an event can not only damage precious equipment but potentially your entire building and possibly other nearby buildings. If your kitchen catches on fire, imagine not only the costs of damages that your insurer may not cover but also your risk of a lawsuit if other individuals get injured.
Filthy kitchen hoods and traps are often viewed as a health violation and can result in inspection failure. While you may be given a specified period to address the violation(s), your health department has the authority to shut your business down depending on the extent of the violation(s). Even when given time to address, say, a dirty kitchen exhaust, the loss of sales and even reputation if others find out about your kitchen inspection failure can be enough to damage your business entirely.
Proper ventilation provided by a kitchen exhaust is vital when it comes to sanitation as it can impact your employees and customers’ health. With a dirty kitchen exhaust, sanitation issues can come in the form of potentially-toxic aromas, poor air quality, and unwanted grease or condensation dripping onto prepared food and/or dishes and utensils prior to serving hungry customers.
In turn of toxic aromas, poor air quality, and even heat accumulation from improperly-ventilated kitchen fumes and heat, your employees may suffer from lower productivity. Uncomfortable smells; stuffy, unsafe breathing air; and an uncomfortable kitchen temperature can all certainly distract employees and potentially cause short- or even long-term health concerns for your employees. Due to improper ventilation, you may suffer from not only a high employee turnover rate, and in turn angry customers, but also potential lawsuits if an employee suffers from health consequences due to working in a poorly-ventilated kitchen.
Kitchen ventilation systems are designed to properly ventilate environmentally-toxic smoke and grease. However, when it comes to the proper cleaning and disposal of grease and other byproducts accumulated by a kitchen exhaust, it is your responsibility to adhere to any environmental regulations and laws that apply to you. A professional kitchen flue cleaner can ensure these environmental standards are met, potentially preventing your business from receiving a fine from the Environmental Protection agency (EPA).
The latter are certainly not things you will want you experience, but fortunately, they preventable. By having quarterly steam cleaning performed on your commercial kitchen exhaust, you can reap the benefits of a safer kitchen environment. Contact us today at 800-700-FLUE to set up your first exhaust cleaning in Culver City, CA!