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Certified pros protect catering industry as insurers get tough on greasy ductwork
The extreme fire risk of uncleaned grease extract systems in buildings with catering facilities has been highlighted profusely by the Fire Authority, but it is the refusal of insurance companies to pay out and hefty fines that have brought the matter to the industry's attention.
Despite changes over five years ago to the Fire Safety Order, giving building owners responsibility for ensuring that all possible precautions and actions are taken to protect occupants from the dangers of fire, some restaurateurs have not taken their responsibility seriously in an effort to cut costs.
"In these tough economic times it is all too easy to cut corners, but uncleaned extract systems present one of the highest fire risks, so it's just not worth it.," warns Alan Maynard of Ingot Services, a nationwide commercial kitchen cleaning company. "Not only do building owners have to fully comply with the Fire Safety Order laws, but most insurers now insist on the regular cleaning of grease extract ventilation systems by certified specialist cleaners as part of their fire risk assessment."
Last year saw Gregg's, the nationwide network of bakeries, land a £50,000 fine, plus £20,000 in costs for breaching the Fire Safety Order. And the London Liverpool Street outlet of Burger King was the scene of a major fire caused by inadequate duct cleaning.
"Often, the flue goes up the centre of the building and if it catches fire it can potentially gut the entire place, putting staff and customers at risk," explains Alan, who provides cleaning services for many famous restaurants in London and commercial kitchens across the UK.
With the various accreditations needed to comply with insurance policies, Ingot Services operates an invaluable nationwide service to the catering industry. The company provides a Certificate of Cleanliness, a full report with before and after photographs and an around the clock service to ensure the kitchen is fully functional for when the chef arrives.
T: 0800 731 7892
11th August 2011