A beginner's guide to kitchen ventilation and extraction systems
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A Beginner’s Guide to Kitchen Ventilation and Extraction Systems

A beginner’s guide to kitchen ventilation and extraction systems

When it comes commercial kitchens, the extraction and ventilation systems can sometimes be pushed aside and even forgotten about. It is something that is not only important in keeping the air clean for your staff but it's actually a legal requirement that your kitchen must adhere too. 

Having an effective ventilation system helps to create as well as maintain a  safe kitchen and a safe working environment. As can be expected, with everything that goes on in a busy commercial kitchen there are a large amount of gases, vapours and fumes in the air. When the ventilation system is working correctly, it will be able to extract all the dirt and replace it with fresh clean air. 

Kitchen Extraction Systems

Benefits of having a fully functioning kitchen extraction system – 

  • Helps to reduce the likelihood of  your kitchen staff experiencing any  irritation to the eyes or skin.
  • Means your staff are also less likely to develop any breathing and respiratory problems.
  • Keeps your team working at a comfortable temperature. This means they’re less likely to be stressed or uncomfortable at work. Working in a difficult environment can in turn cause stress and may even result in some of your team leaving . 
  • As mentioned before, it helps prevents a build-up of fumes. To keep your ventilation and extraction systems working as effectively as possible, it needs to be cleaned and maintained to ensure they work properly.
  • It ensures that the air quality is high. Not only for your kitchen staff, but it also means the customers in the dining area don’t get any excess kitchen air.
  • Helps to prevent any oil and food grease from building up along the walls and ceilings. 

Commercial Kitchen Extraction System Maintenance 

In order to make sure that your ventilation system is able to carry out all of it’s roles correctly, it’s important that you understand the maintenance that comes with it. 

That means you will need to book in for regular planned preventative. Catering companies such as NWCE Foodservice Equipment offer bespoke maintenance and service plans. Their team of foodservice engineers will come to your kitchen at a convenient time for you. This means means you can avoid any unnecessary downtime. Their engineers will then carry out checks on all of your commercial catering equipment including the kitchen extraction systems. They will be able to remove any build up of fat and grease that could be blocking any in or outlets. If this build up isn’t regularly removed, it can lead to the ventilation system working less efficiently and in the long term could lead to a risk of fire. 

As well as having an external company helping, it’s incredibly important that your kitchen team feel comfortable with performing any day to day maintenance or cleaning. The day to day cleaning will help to ensure the ventilation system runs as smoothly as possible. 

Commercial Kitchen Extraction Regulations

When it comes to rules and regulations, every local council and local authority will have slightly different rules so it’s important to check and double check with them. Your council may also send out representatives to check over your kitchen in order to  ensure your kitchen is working to all health and safety standards. They will also check the external of your premises. They will be making sure that the external part of the ventilation system isn’t producing any dangerous gases and isn’t too loud or disrupting any other homes or businesses in the surrounding areas. 

There are also three specific regulation that you need to take into account with your commercial ventilation systems. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and The Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974. 

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulation 1992 is one of the main regulations that focus on kitchen extraction and ventilation systems. This regulation makes it a legal requirement for enclosed work areas to have a ventilation system. Ideally all of your cooking appliances should have a canopy hood over them to ensure as much steam, grease and vapour is removed. 

The Gas Safety Regulation does apply to all of the gas equipment you have in the kitchen. It requires appliances to be connected to a flue network. To comply with the regulation, you need to make sure that your flue network is safely put into place and kept maintained to a high standard in order to keep all of your kitchen team safe. 

The basis of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974, is that the employers are legally required to provide and maintain safe working conditions that do not pose a risk to employee health. 

Commercial Ventilation Installers

If you are struggling with anything commercial kitchen and ventilation wise, why not get in touch with NWCE Foodservice Equipment? They offer advice as well as maintenance and service plans, breakdown cover and even commercial foodservice installation services. So if you think your current ventilation system isn’t up to the standard it should be, then get in touch with one of the team.