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History Of Hood Cleaning
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    Default History Of Hood Cleaning

    24 • June 2005 • CleanerTimes
    he significant increase in restaurants during
    the 1940s and 1950s brought a realization: the
    number of structure fires occurring within buildings
    supporting cooking processes was escalating. Thus
    was born the recognition of a need to provide methods
    for controlling the accumulation of flammable
    cooking byproduct within kitchen exhaust removal
    systems. In this early period when Americans were
    discovering dining out, kitchen exhaust systems were
    simple. No safety features existed such as the grease
    removal devices, fire extinguishing systems, and stringent
    construction features dictated by model building
    codes of today.
    Kitchen exhaust systems were not originally
    designed or constructed with cleaning considerations
    in mind, and therefore an evolution would occur with
    the construction requirements concerning serviceability,
    as well as the actual cleaning processes, to
    provide effective control of the hazard.
    Prior to positive cleaning methods being a routine
    component in the protection of life and property
    from fire at eating establishments, kitchen
    exhaust systems were “fireproofed” by introducing
    a mixture of calcified lime and sodium bicarbonate
    into the exhaust hood plenum and exhaust
    ductwork to saponify liquid grease residue deposited
    within the system between treatments. Often
    “hood cleaning” was limited to only the exhaust
    hoods, and perhaps the exhaust blower when the
    unit was installed in an accessible location. The early
    cleaning techniques were simply a manual scraping
    process and perhaps scrubbing of these areas.
    Only a few fireproofing contractors used hot water
    The Evolution of Kitchen
    Exhaust Cleaning
    by Bernard Besal
    CleanerTimes • June 2005 • 25
    hoses, and use of a wash process was
    generally limited to the exhaust
    hoods themselves.
    Cleaning the exhaust ductwork,
    when it was done, involved sweeping
    the accumulated fire retardant
    grease mixture out with a broom.
    However, cleaning the exhaust duct
    interior was seldom done due to
    little or no accessibility and a lack of
    available tooling for cleaning the
    interior of smaller exhaust ductwork.
    At this point in time, the fireproofing
    process was considered
    sufficient for treating the system
    for the purpose of fire safety. The
    thought was that when exposed to
    fire, the mixture of powder applied
    to the interior of the system would
    produce CO2 gas when its temperature
    was elevated by the fire.
    Repeated “powdering” of the
    exhaust ductwork posed long term
    challenges for exhaust systems
    when not accompanied by a removal
    process, since the repeated depositing
    of flame retardant powder on top
    of grease reduced exhaust airflow,
    and increased the rate of grease deposition
    within the ductwork. Large
    quantities could add weight in excess
    of the designed load for the duct to
    carry, and in many instances completely
    occlude the duct interior.
    As the frequency of fires in cooking
    establishments increased, and
    the need to provide actual removal
    of the grease and powder was evidenced,
    early steam cleaning equipment
    and some pressure washing
    equipment began being available.
    Very few fireproofing contractors
    used this type of equipment due to
    the cost and the complications of
    washing the exhaust ductwork.
    Early model building and fire
    codes began to develop the construction
    techniques and materials
    used in the exhaust systems, and
    some early manual-release CO2 and
    sodium bicarbonate fire systems
    began to be employed. However,
    all the way up to the 1970s, these code
    guidelines did not include the features
    required to facilitate cleaning.
    Acceleration of the oxygen supply
    by the exhaust blower could cause
    duct fires to burn at temperatures
    exceeding the exhaust duct containment
    ability, and transferring of
    the fire to building components was
    a regular concern. Manufacturers of
    exhaust hoods were attempting to provide
    source contaminant removal at
    the hood and prevent the depositing
    of grease residue within the exhaust
    ductwork by including grease filters
    constructed of mesh. Additionally,
    water wash hoods were being developed
    as higher efficiency grease
    removal devices with built-in fire
    safety features such as thermostats,
    fire dampers, and wash systems to
    help eliminate human error associated
    with the maintenance of the primary
    grease removal devices.
    Many of these components, and
    the routine application of fire
    dampers, added complexity for the
    exhaust cleaners when considering
    the actual cleaning of the exhaust systems
    in lieu of the older practice of
    fire proofing.
    Later development of automatic
    fire extinguishing systems increased
    the level of protection by offering
    coverage for the cooking appliances,
    grease removal devices, and the
    exhaust ductwork. Nonetheless, statistics
    continued to indicate that the
    leading source of fires involving eating
    and drinking establishments was
    the cooking areas, with foodstuffs
    being the first material ignited.
    High-rise structures further complicated
    the cleaning of exhaust systems
    as the ductwork could extend
    through the building in vertical and
    horizontal configurations. The strategy
    of designers appeared to be to
    build the exhaust systems to withstand
    fire conditions rather than to
    offer features to increase access supportive
    of cleaning.
    Early exhaust cleaning contractors
    were not organized in any fashion
    to adequately effect change of
    the model codes, so cleaning firms
    were faced with attempting to clean
    the accessible portions of kitchen
    exhaust systems as best as their
    For information circle 128
    26 • June 2005 • CleanerTimes
    ability and the available equipment
    would allow. Throughout the
    1970s, many systems remained
    with ample fuel load within portions
    of the exhaust ductwork to
    propagate fire, and frequent losses
    were recorded in structures supporting
    cooking processes.
    Naturally, the insurance industry
    recognized that the exhaust cleaning
    firms were one of the responsible
    parties involved with the fire safety
    of the kitchen exhaust systems, and
    as a result, could be an actionable
    party to the loss in the event fire was
    to propagate through the exhaust
    system. Exhaust cleaning firms now
    could be held liable in a court of
    law in the event of the loss of the
    exhaust system, or the building, by
    fire while under their care.
    In the late 1980s, a small group of
    individual exhaust cleaning firms
    from across North America recognized
    the need to improve the image
    of exhaust cleaning contractors,
    effect changes to the model building
    codes to reflect construction details
    supportive of cleaning processes,
    and build guidelines for the exhaust
    cleaning industry to follow
    in their effort to protect life and
    property from fire.
    The International Kitchen Exhaust
    Cleaning Association (IKECA) was
    formed in the year 1989, and representatives
    were appointed to serve
    on the National Fire Protection Association
    (NFPA) Committee on
    Venting Systems for Cooking Appliances
    (NFPA 96 Technical Committee).
    Prior to individual exhaust
    cleaning contractors and representatives
    from IKECA serving on the
    committee, no installers or maintainers
    were represented on the
    committee. Feedback on actual conditions
    from the field began to
    foster changes within the NFPA
    Standard 96 as a result of input
    from the maintenance sector.
    Additionally, IKECA has led the
    industry through formation of multilevel
    certification programs for
    cleaning personnel and continuing
    education credit requirements to
    help members keep abreast of
    current technology.
    Today, as in the past, there are
    three methods for exhaust cleaning:
    manual removal of cooking
    byproduct, steam cleaning, and
    pressure washing. Many cleaning
    firms use a combination of these
    processes to prevent fire by removal
    of the fuel from within the kitchen
    exhaust systems.
    Considering the complexity of
    modern kitchen exhaust systems,
    liability issues, insurance requirements,
    and compliance requirements,
    choosing a contractor that is
    best qualified for kitchen exhaust
    byproduct management should
    begin with contacting the IKECA
    headquarters in Rockville Maryland
    at (301) 230-0099, or info@ikeca.org
    Bernard Besal is the owner of Besal
    Services, Inc.
    Editor ’s Note: PWNA offers,
    among other certifications, Kitchen
    Exhaust Cleaners Certification. Visit
    www.pwna.org for information. CT
    For information circle 389
    CLEANHOODS formally S&M Cleaning Services since 1997
    call 24/7>>>>>>> (828)632-7688 office
    High quality exhaust system detailer...emergency services available...fair rates....guaranteed inspection approval !
    Owner: Marko
    Visit Cleanhoods at:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cleanhoods/186427068726 or http://twitter.com/ Or E-Mail cleanhoods2002@yahoo.com

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