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We have summarised the minimum maintenance requirement for most common kitchen exhaust systems as a number of clients don't appear to be receiving an adequate service from their contractor.

Commercial kitchen exhaust systems form part of a building mechanical exhaust system that is an essential service requiring maintenance to the minimum standard detailed in Australian Standard AS 1851.6. Some kitchen exhaust systems form part of the smoke control features of your building and could have fire suppression systems installed within them.

Maintenance Routine

Level 1 (1 to 6 month intervals depending on volume of usage)
The items required for a level 1 routine should include the following:

  • Check grease-arresting filters for excessive grease accumulation.
  • Check hood and its exhaust plenum for excessive grease accumulation.
  • Check that grease-arresting filters are secured in position and free of damage.
  • Check grease gutters for any excessive grease accumulation.

Level 2 (1 to 6 month intervals depending on volume usage)

  • Clean or change over grease-arresting filters.

Note: Due to the wide variation in usage, the frequency of this routine is subject to the requirements of the relevant regulatory authority. Level 2 routines may be required more frequently than a level 1 in some circumstances.

Level 3 (Annually or more often should usage be of high volume)
The action items required for a level 3 routine should include the following:

  • Clean hood and its exhaust plenum.
  • Check for excessive air leaks at grease-arresting filters.
  • Check duct back to motor for accumulated grease and clean it.

Note: Fire protection or suppression systems installed within kitchen exhaust systems may have special requirements requiring additional mandatory maintenance.

Special Filtration Systems
In some instances, the regulatory authority (eg. Building Surveyor/ Council Health Surveyor) has approved variations to AS 1668.2 through the provision of higher quality filtration of the effluent.

It is important that high quality filtration systems are maintained in accordance with manufacture's recommendations and other specifications in order to avoid complaints and remedial actions by the council.

Competent Service Provider
We recommend you use only a person or company who has had appropriate training or practical experience to provide safe and satisfactory performance.

Where food premises are under a lease situation, owners must ensure the tenant is correctly maintaining their kitchen exhaust system.

Maintenance Reporting
Obtain a written communication from the contractor or the tenant, giving details of the physical and operational state of the equipment when maintenance is carried out, which is kept on site. Additionally provided a copy to the building owner or authorized agent.

Corrective Action
When defects or poor maintenance is identified, it is important for corrective actions to be taken immediately to make sure the kitchen exhaust system and hood are safe and effective. Inappropriate or untimely actions could sustain a fire risk potential.

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(For further information contact Adrian Righele on tel. 03 8417 6555 or email.