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Kitchen hood system fires in restaurants not only put employees, customers and firefighters at risk, but can rack up millions of dollars in property damage and lost business.

The number one thing you need to know about maintaining your kitchen exhaust system is that according to the National Fire restaurant kitchen exhaust system cleaningProtection Association NFPA-96 section 4.1.5: “the responsibility for inspection, testing, maintenance, and cleanliness of the ventilation control and fire protection of the commercial cooking operations shall ultimately be that of the owner of the system, provided that this responsibility has not been transferred in written form to a management company, tenant, or other party.” In other words, it is the owner’s responsibility to keep that system clean of grease and particulate buildup, and reduce the risk of a fire hazard.

An incomplete cleaning performed by a low priced contractor (with most likely inadequate insurance coverage) will not protect the owner from the cost and litigation of a fire.  If you’re unclear about your responsibility, download our free, Top 5 Things Every Restaurant Owner Should Know About Kitchen Exhaust Systems, report at the end of this post. We also suggest that you contact your local building and fire inspector.  Your local inspector will work with you to ensure that all the components of your commercial kitchen ventilation system are installed correctly, and maintained along proper guidelines.