Commercial Kitchen Exhaust System Cleaning

The kitchen is a very important part of any structure. That’s why there are lots of appliances in it and you install the best kitchen exhaust system you can afford. You should know however, that no matter how new your exhaust system is today, it will still get dirty over time especially with your cooking processes involved.

You can clean the external portion of your kitchen hoods along with the kitchen surfaces as part of your daily cleaning process. However, for the more complex kitchen exhaust system, you need professionals for the job. You need to be compliant of a certain regulation called the NFPA-96 Standard. This standard calls for compliance for all commercial kitchen operators.

Benefits of clean kitchen hoods

  • Reduced risk of kitchen fires
  • Incorporated as a standard part of overall maintenance plan
  • Improved ventilation for smoke and odour removal
  • Compliance with fire and health codes requiring kitchen exhaust cleaning
  • Comfortable working environment for kitchen staff
  • Lower insurance premiums offered by some insurance companies

Hiring a kitchen hood cleaning company is quite easy because there are a lot of them nowadays. You just need the right people to do the job. NFPA-96 Standard requires them to be properly qualified and licensed. Since your kitchen exhaust system needs a thorough cleaning down to “bare metal”, it is best to hire professionals. Remember that a clean kitchen exhaust system creates a more comfortable cooking environment for the people inside it. It will also minimize the risk of fire hazard which is extremely dangerous for everybody.

 


The Cost of Kitchen Hood Cleaning

Your kitchen hoods need thorough cleaning to be compliant with NFPA-96 Standard. However, you need professional cleaning experts to do this job. The certificate that they will issue after cleaning is important to prove your compliance. Before hiring a kitchen hood cleaning operator, it is best to know the numbers involved in kitchen hood cleaning.

As kitchen hood cleaning is also a business, kitchen hood cleaning operators bill their clients under different factors. It is best to know how much a kitchen hood cleaning would cost you so you can prepare in advance for the cleaning charges.

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What are the factors to consider for Hood Cleaning Cost?

Kitchen hood cleaning cost depends on a lot of factors. The biggest contributor is location. If the location of your restaurant is within the metropolitan area, there are a lot of kitchen hood cleaning companies which you can choose from. The problem arises if your company is located far away from the metro area. Your kitchen hood cleaning company may charge a bit higher from the standard base price. It is not profitable for them to drive 45 minutes to a $200 job.

  • Multiple locations

If your restaurants have multiple locations in your area, hiring one kitchen hood cleaning company might help you save money. It is also easier to work with one cleaning company than handling multiple ones offering different rates. You might get confused with their pricing thus spending a lot on kitchen hood cleaning. Also, some kitchen hood cleaning companies offer discounts and promos to their active clients.

  • Size and configuration of your kitchen exhaust system

A restaurant who has two-storey will be charged more than a one-storey restaurant because the bigger the size of your establishment, the longer are its ducts. The size and number of hoods will also play into the pricing factor and if you have multiple exhaust systems installed.

  • Hood system condition

Your overall hood system condition is also considered when determining the right pricing. If your kitchen hoods are well-maintained over the years, the cost of cleaning will not fluctuate. However, if your kitchen hoods are in a rough shape, meaning they are not well-cleaned over the years, expect a higher price because the cleaners will have more work to do. The amount of hood maintenance you need also plays an important factor. If you are operating in a high grease restaurant, expect a more frequent kitchen hood cleaning.

  • Water availability

Water is necessary to be able to do pressure washing or steam washing in your kitchen hoods. If you are not willing to let your cleaners use your restaurant’s water, the cost of moving additional water to your located will be charge to you. Make sure that your cleaners also use protective sheet to cover your kitchen appliances when they do the cleaning.

  • Contracts

Contracts can help you save a lot of money in the long run if you hire a good kitchen hood cleaning operator. That’s why it is important to check the past works they have done to ensure that they will give you the best cleaning service they offer.

How much is the average hood cleaning cost?

The most typical minimum charge of a hood cleaning company is from $400 to $450. This charge includes the upblast fans, ductworks, baffle filters and hood canopy. Additional charges may include for removing access panels, very complicated or long duct systems and any minimums to cover the cost of showing up at a location.

There are two methods by which a kitchen hood cleaning company may charge you: hourly rates and flat rates on each aspect of cleaning.

  1. Hourly Rate Hood Cleaning

This method charges you a fixed rate per hour. The average hourly cost for hood cleaning is $135 to $180 per hour, charging more for a larger staff. However, there are also additional charges on top of the hourly rates  depending on other factors such as additional exhaust fans, additional cleaning filters, and many more.

  1. Flat Fee Hood Cleaning

This method has a flat rate instead of an hourly rate for each aspect of cleaning. The average flat rate cost for hood cleaning is $400 to $425. It can also increase depending on other factors.

Most kitchen hood cleaning companies offer free estimates that you can take advantage before setting any cleaning appointments. Always consider the factors above to get the best pricing when hiring your kitchen hood cleaning company.


Restaurant Fire Safety and Prevention

Restaurant safety is important for any restaurant owner. It should be an immediate priority as the consequence of a restaurant fire is unpleasant. You should always be thinking of your employees’ and customers’ safety. Thus, preparing the right kitchen safety measures and procedures will help you prevent such unfortunate accidents.

Restaurants can be more susceptible to fire and other injury risks than residential kitchens because they are generally busier than home kitchens.

To avoid a kitchen fire, it is important to behave in an appropriate manner while cooking. Below are specific ways which you can do to prevent kitchen fire.

  1. Preventive Maintenance Procedures

  • Install a fire suppression system in the kitchen. This one is important because as mentioned earlier, majority of the cause of restaurant fires is because of cooking equipment. This system can help supress flames by automatically dispensing chemicals. Always see to it that your fire suppression system is also well maintained. The fire suppression system installed in your restaurant is required to undergo inspection as part of your security measures. The NFPA standard requires system inspection at least twice a year.
  • Have fire extinguishers in different areas of your restaurant. These portable fire fighting items can come in handy whenever a small fire starts and can still be controlled. You need a Type K extinguisher on hand near the grill or fryer to help put out cooking oil fires.
  • Always have a regular maintenance of electrical wirings and equipment. Another cause of kitchen fires is the electrical wirings and equipment. Always check with your contractor for any fayed cords or electrical wiring, cracked or broken switch and other combustible electrical materials.
  • Have your kitchen exhaust systems regularly inspected. NFPA-96 Standard calls for a regular inspection of the kitchen exhaust systems installed in commercial kitchens. This can be done monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually depending on the classification of the business. It is done to prevent grease build-up which can also cause fire in the kitchen.
  1. Proper Staff Training Procedures

  • Train your staff to be familiar and to use fire extinguishers. It is better to stop a small fire before it burns up the whole establishment. Conduct trainings and seminars on the proper use of fire extinguishers as these can be of great help when an emergency arises.
  • Always inform your staff to clean the kitchen equipment regularly. This is done to prevent any build-up of grease in your kitchen equipment.
  • Inform your staff of proper disposal of cigarettes. Tell them also not to smoke near storage areas and make sure that cigarettes are out before disposing them in trash bins.
  • Handle chemicals properly. This goes especially to fire igniting chemicals. Always place them in well ventilated areas and keep them away from supplies, food supplies or any source of flames.
  • When cooking items involving grease or oil, inform the cook to never leave the stove unattended.
  • Wear the proper kitchen attire whenever you do your specific jobs in the kitchen.

 


Why should you hire a Kitchen Hood Cleaning Company?

Your kitchen hoods can be exposed to a lot of dirt problems with your continuous cooking process. As days go by, they can be clogged with grease which is not good, particularly if you are in the food business. Restaurants are held responsible for maintaining the highest form of kitchen sanitation. They are required to comply with NFPA-96 Standard for the proper maintenance of their kitchen hoods. Thus, the need for regular kitchen hood cleaning is a necessity for them.

However, you can’t just get any degreasing chemicals and clean the hoods by yourself. First, you may damage the ductworks installed in your kitchen. It will give you additional cost for repairs in the long run. Second, you might just not know where to start and how to clean them. You do not have sufficient knowledge of how these fans and ducts were installed. Third, you are not sure if you did a thorough cleaning of your kitchen hoods. Lastly, you are not qualified to do the job since NFPA-96 Standard requires professional cleaning experts for it.

Hiring a Professional Kitchen Hood Cleaning Operator

There is the need to hire professional cleaning experts because of that. Since they are qualified and licensed, authorities will believe that you are compliant of the regulating standard. Below are some of the reasons why you need to hire one.

  1. Professional kitchen hood cleaning operators have state of the art equipment.

Kitchen hood cleaning companies regularly upgrade their equipment to be able to meet customer’s maximum satisfaction. They need to do that to stay in business and to be at par with their competitors. Due to their state of the art equipment, kitchen hood cleaning can be a breeze. They will also find other ways to clean your kitchen hoods properly and thoroughly.

  1. Professional kitchen hood cleaning operators are cleaning experts.

You should hire them simply because they are experts in it! They did not stay in this kind of business for nothing. They have the necessary experience to do the cleaning job and give you the best results. You can check their past works to have an idea on how they handle the cleaning job.

  1. Professional kitchen hood cleaning operators can help you save time and money.

If it is your first time to have your restaurant pavements pressure washed, it is best to hire professionals. You can save time and water in doing so. You can focus in running your restaurant without worrying about the cleanliness of your pavement. You will also save your energy from doing such tiresome job.

  1. Professional kitchen hood cleaning operators will help you to be NFPA-96 Standard compliant.

The certificate they will issue after cleaning is the proof that your kitchen is compliant of the standard. This is very important because authorities will be looking for it upon your inspection. A proper and thorough cleaning of your kitchen hoods will eliminate fire risk which is one of the main reasons why this standard is established.

 


What Causes Restaurant Fires?

A restaurant fire is the worst thing that can happen to any food establishment. They say that it is quite better to be stolen of some things than your property being burned to ashes. Well, this is quite true. You can always buy the things that you lost but it will take some time to build an entire establishment again. Also, the amount of investment money involved is high. Thus, the safety of your employees and your investment should be your immediate priority. Learning the causes of restaurant fires can help you avoid them in the future.

Studies conducted in the United States show that one out of three fires is a restaurant fire. This is because restaurants have all the necessary factors for a fire to start. With its heavy cooking processes, all the deep fryers and heating equipment involved the electrical wirings and the flammable materials that can be found inside it, restaurant fire hazard is high.

The National Fire Protection Association pointed out some of the reasons for a restaurant fire. These are based on the data they gathered from a certain period of years. These are helpful to have knowledge on restaurant fires and how you can prevent them.

  1. Cooking equipment

According to NFPA, from 2010-2014, approximately 61% of restaurant fires in America are caused primarily by cooking- with cooking equipment as the main cause. It makes sense that cooking equipment results in the most number of fires and property damage for restaurants since it is a constant source of heat and fuel throughout the working day.

  1. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment

Frayed electrical cords or faulty equipment are more likely to spark and cause an electrical fire inside your restaurant.

Some of the electrical hazards which can cause a restaurant fire include the following:

  • Worn electrical cords
  • Damaged extension cords
  • Faulty wiring
  • Damaged receptacles
  • Ungrounded outlets
  • Faulty electrical appliances

It is important to check your electrical wirings with a professional to ensure safety and compliance in building codes.

  1. Heating equipment

Deep fryers deal with hot oil and grease more than any other piece of cooking equipment. Proper maintenance and cleaning of your heating equipment are helpful to prevent misuse which can lead to a restaurant fire. It is also important to note here that your kitchen exhaust systems should also be properly cleaned to avoid clogs in your kitchen hoods.

  1. Smoking materials

Fires caused by cigarettes account for 1,000 deaths in the U.S every year. Most restaurant fires are started by embers igniting on furniture and trash cans. It can be prevented by proper staff training. Always inform your kitchen staff not to smoke on areas which have highly-flammable materials.

  1. Arson

Arson or the intentional burning of the restaurant is the last factor for a restaurant fire. With its minimal contribution in a restaurant fire, this activity is also hazardous. It is responsible for 5% of the restaurant fires and if not prevented, many innocent lives will also suffer.

 

 


Is Hood Cleaning A Good Business?

Is Hood Cleaning A Good Business?

A hood cleaning business can be rewarding, both personally and financially. Once you’ve become an expert in this kind of business, this can be your regular source of income. There are a lot of hood cleaning businesses out there that have proven their success in this industry.

If you want to venture in a hood cleaning business, you have to invest first in yourself. Learn all the skills and master the craft. Get the proper certifications if necessary. There is a great opportunity to earn higher profit for a start-up hood cleaning service. Commercial kitchen operators are mandated by law (NFPA-96 Standard) to have their kitchen hoods regularly inspected for compliance and so there is the need for their kitchen hoods to be cleaned at regular intervals. Other establishments like schools, hotels, hospitals, malls and airports also need this service. You can have a lot of potential clients when you think about it. These establishments are willing to pay for hood cleaning not only to be law-abiding business but also because of the numerous advantages it can give to them- minimizing fire hazards, improving air circulation inside their kitchens and many more.

Hood cleaning is usually done at night to avoid inconvenience. A regular cleaning takes 3-4 hours to finish. Another good thing about this business is it only needs a minimal start-up cost. You can start a hood cleaning business for a minimum of $2,000. As a beginner in this industry, you also do not need to rent a space to serve as your office. You can use your own home. You can also operate part-time if you wish to do so. The profit margins of a hood cleaning business usually range from 20-45%. Moreover, if you’ve become an expert on this field, you can earn bigger.

The chances of succeeding in a hood cleaning business may not be far from achieving. Just like any business, you must study and learn all the areas of your business to succeed. If you have the passion and the necessary skills to start a hood cleaning business, it might just give you the  financial success you’re aiming for.


Restaurant Fires in the United States

Restaurant Fires in the United States

Restaurants have all the necessary factors for a fire to flame out of control. Some of these are open flames, cooking equipment, electrical connections, a hot kitchen environment and paper products. It would be a great disaster for a business owner if he experiences such unfortunate accident. It could mean a great loss of fortune for the business or worse, closure of the business venture.

SOME FACTS ABOUT RESTAURANT FIRES IN THE UNITED STATES

These data are taken from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These are informative statistics that might interest you if you are interested to venture in a food business like a restaurant.

  1. According to NFPA, from 2010-2014, approximately 61% of restaurant fires in America are caused primarily by cooking- with cooking equipment as the main cause. This constitutes three of five fires and 38% of direct property damage. When you think about it, it really makes sense that cooking equipment is the main cause of a restaurant fire since it is the constant source of heat and fuel throughout the day.

 

  1. Approximately 22% of these fires were caused by failure of cleaning, 14% due to electrical failure or malfunction, 12% is caused by mechanical malfunction and 8% is due to unattended equipment. If you leave your kitchen equipment unclean over time, the possibility of grease build up arises. A major build-up of grease in the kitchen can also cause fire hazards.

 

  1. The major cooking equipment that can contribute to a fire are the following:
  • Deep Fryers- 21%
  • Cooktops or ranges- 14%
  • Cooking grills- 6%
  • Ovens- 5%

 

  1. Restaurant fires resulted in property damage of about $165 million every year. It is important to know here that not only the restaurant building is affected but also other nearby establishments if the fire is not controlled right away. Also, lives of people can be at risk when a fire accident occurs.

RECENT RESTAURANT FIRE INCIDENT IN THE UNITED STATES

On the evening of July 16, the Michelin restaurant Manresa in Los Gatos was damaged by fire. Fire fighters saw significant damage to the roof and the facilities inside the restaurant. The establishment is still close for business.

BASIC RESTAURANT FIRE SAFETY MEASURES

The best thing to prevent this kind of accident is to have preventive measures on hand. There are many ways to do this but let’s focus on two major ways.

  1. Preventive Maintenance
  • Install a fire suppression system in the kitchen. This one is important because as mentioned earlier, majority of the cause of restaurant fires is because of cooking equipment. This system can help supress flames by automatically dispensing chemicals. Always see to it that your fire suppression system is also well maintained.
  • Have fire extinguishers in different areas. These portable fire fighting items can come in handy whenever a small fire starts and can still be controlled.
  • Always have a regular maintenance of electrical wirings and equipment. Another cause of kitchen fires is the electrical wirings and equipment. Always check with your contractor for any fayed cords or electrical wiring, cracked or broken switch and other combustible electrical materials.
  • Have your kitchen exhaust systems regularly inspected. NFPA-96 Standard calls for a regular inspection of the kitchen exhaust systems installed in commercial kitchens. This can be done monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually depending on the classification of the business. It is done to prevent grease build-up which can also cause fire in the kitchen.

 

  1. Proper staff training
  • Train your staff to be familiar and to use fire extinguishers. It is better to stop a small fire before it burns up the whole establishment. Conduct trainings and seminars on the proper use of fire extinguishers as these can be of great help when an emergency arises.
  • Always inform your staff to clean the kitchen equipment regularly. This is done to prevent any build-up of grease in your kitchen equipment.
  • Inform your staff of proper disposal of cigarettes. Tell them also not to smoke near storage areas and make sure that cigarettes are out before disposing them in trash bins.
  • Handle chemicals properly. This goes especially to fire igniting chemicals. Always place them in well ventilated areas and keep them away from supplies, food supplies or any source of flames.

These are just some of the few methods that you can use to minimize the occurrence of a kitchen fire in your establishment. It is always better to prevent this than suffer a great loss of investment, property or even a life.


Why Vent Hoods are Important for Restaurants

Why Vent Hoods are Important for Restaurants

A range hood or vent hood is sometimes the largely overlooked appliance in commercial kitchens like restaurants. But although least appreciated, in reality it is one of the most valuable assets in a kitchen. Aside from providing a substantial filtering support for your stove or cook top, a range hood is designed to remove odors, heat and smoke that can occur when cooking in the kitchen. Restaurant owners make sure to invest in a good quality range hood to maximize the benefits it can give to them.

Below are some of the reasons why a range hood is a necessary appliance in food businesses such as restaurants.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE A RANGE HOOD?

To further understand the importance of this particular kitchen appliance, let’s try to define first the meaning of a range hood. A range hood is basically a device containing a fan that hangs above the stove or cook top. It is also commonly known as a vent hood or an exhaust hood. As mentioned earlier, it is designed to remove gases and odors in the kitchen.

Many vent hoods have filtration systems that exhaust the air to the outside environment while some vent hoods circulate the air back to the kitchen.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING RANGE HOODS IN RESTAURANTS

  1. A range hood contributes to a more clean air in the kitchen.

Notably the most important role of a range hood is to remove any unwanted gas and odors in the kitchen. When cooking or preparing for a meal, other people might end up dealing with the smoke and the odor that comes with it. With the help of a range hood, it drives away any unwanted particles in the air.

On another note, a range hood is good in cutting down the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a gas that has potential health dangers in humans. Some studies conducted revealed that kitchens with no vent hoods have elevated levels of carbon monoxide than those kitchens that have vent hoods installed.

  1. A range hood makes your cooking more comfortable.

A range hood can contribute to a clean and comfortable cooking environment. Cooking produces heat so sometimes it is uncomfortable dealing with all the smokes around the kitchen.

A good quality range hood can make the life of a chef easier and all the other kitchen personnel. It will give them the freedom to explore more and be creative with their cooking style. When you’re comfortable in your working environment, you will be motivated to perform better.

  1. A range hood makes kitchen cleaning easier.

Cooking sometimes leave excessive moisture in the air and it is also a factor for grease build up which is sometimes hard to remove. Having a range hood prevents those things and makes your cleaning a little bit easier.

  1. A range hood provides better kitchen lighting.

An additional good feature of a range hood is the additional lighting it provides. This feature will be most beneficial to the chef because he can see well if he is preparing the dish in the right manner. Same goes when cleaning, a person can see much better and can clean all the areas in the cook top thus preventing the build-up of grease in the kitchen.

  1. A range hood is a good kitchen investment

This can come in handy if you want to re-sell your restaurant. A restaurant with a range hood installed has a higher market value than a restaurant with none. For this reason, a range hood is considered a luxury in every restaurant.

These are just some of the wonderful benefits of having a range hood installed in your restaurant. Having a good quality range hood can make a food business last because of the benefits and comfort it can give to the kitchen employees and to the employer as well.


Restaurant Degreasing is Important

covering some parts

Just like any material that needs maintenance and cleaning, your kitchen hoods also need regular degreasing to be able to keep their maximum performance. Oftentimes, your kitchen hoods are overlooked. But you should always remember that kitchen hoods pull away the smoke and odor in your kitchen which gives you the cooler kitchen environment you have.

Restaurant degreasing is important because it gives you the assurance of safety in your kitchen. It makes you compliant of the governing standard which will help you stay in the business. NFPA-96 Standard outlines the frequency of cleaning your kitchen hoods. They can be done monthly, quarterly, semi-annually and annually. This will depend on the size of your kitchen hoods and the amount of cooking process involved.

Restaurant degreasing can be done in two ways. The first is called scraping. This method is the more economical and is extremely effective when done properly. It’s accomplished by a person simply scraping the accumulation of grease from the walls of the exhaust system. Although scraping is an effective method of removing grease for the exhaust system, it’s not the most thorough method because there are certain areas which are unreachable due to human’s limit. The second method is called pressure washing or steam cleaning. This method is the alternative to scraping. Though the down point of this method is that it is more costly and time consuming since it requires considerable preparatory work to control waste water and more expensive equipment is needed. However, this method will clean ductwork down to “bare metal” which is the recommendation of the NFPA-96 Standard. This method delivers impressive results and provides an absolute thorough cleaning of every corner of the exhaust system.

Always have degreasing for your restaurant because it gives many benefits for you and your kitchen employees.


Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning

KITCHEN EXHAUST CLEANING

Building owners especially restaurant owners, should comply not only with proper sanitation standards but also with proper cleaning of their exhaust systems. Kitchen exhaust cleaning is the process of removing greases that have accumulated inside the exhaust systems of commercial kitchens. A proper cleaning of the entire kitchen exhaust system includes the hoods, filters, fans and all associated horizontal and vertical ductworks. It is important to monitor this because when left unclean, these exhaust systems can accumulate grease over time which is extremely prone to fire hazards. Approximately one of three restaurant fires are caused by grease. However, when an exhaust system is cleaned regularly, chances of a duct fire is extremely low. Exhaust systems must undergo inspection at certain intervals, with constant usage, to know if sufficient grease has accumulated and if cleaning is already necessary.

GOVERNING REGULATION

The actual commercial kitchen exhaust system cleaning guidelines are stated in the National Fire Protection Association Standard 96 otherwise known as the Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations. This regulation provides the minimum fire safety standards related to the design, installation, operation, inspection, and maintenance of all public and private cooking operations. All commercial kitchen operators and kitchen exhaust hood cleaners must observe strict compliance with this regulation.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD KITCHEN EXHAUST SYSTEMS BE CLEANED?

The answer lies on NFPA-96 Standard section 11.4, “the entire exhaust system shall be inspected for grease build up by a properly trained, qualified and certified person(s) acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and in accordance with Table 11.4”

Type or Volume of Cooking Frequency Frequency
Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations Monthly
Systems serving high-volume cooking operations such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling or work cooking  

Quarterly

Systems serving moderate-volume cooking operations Semi-annually
Systems serving low-volume cooking operations, such as churches, day camps, seasonal business or senior centers  

Annually

 

METHODS OF CLEANING

There are two primary methods of cleaning kitchen exhaust:
• Scraping- This method is the more economical and is extremely effective when done properly. It’s accomplished by a person simply scraping the accumulation of grease from the walls of the exhaust system. Although scraping is an effective method of removing grease for the exhaust system, it’s not the most thorough method because there are certain areas which are unreachable due to human’s limit.
• Pressure washing or steam cleaning- This method is the alternative to scraping. Though the down point of this method is that it is more costly and time-consuming since it requires considerable preparatory work to control wastewater and more expensive equipment is needed. However, this method will clean ductwork down to “bare metal” which is the recommendation of the NFPA-96 Standard. This method delivers impressive results and provides an absolute thorough cleaning of every corner of the exhaust system.

Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning At Regular Intervals

Most kitchen exhaust cleaning companies offer both methods for cleaning kitchen exhaust systems. They even recommend doing both methods at regular intervals to maintain maximum efficiency and prevent grease build up.

A responsible commercial kitchen operator must know the importance of maintaining the exhaust system clean of grease, prevent build up and reduce the risk of a fire hazard. After all, a well cleaned and a well maintained commercial kitchen brings safety to the employer, employees and its customers.