Ductwork Access Panels
One of the biggest problems we find on a regular basis when conducting a kitchen exhaust hood inspection or cleaning, is what we don’t find. Many commercial kitchens are missing access panels in the ventilation ductwork. Older restaurants, and some of the newer ones, don’t have proper access points to thoroughly inspect and clean the ventilation systems.
The lack of access points within the kitchen ventilation system not only makes it harder to thoroughly clean the ductwork, but could be a serious fire hazard as well. Grease can build up in areas that are hard to see and be easily missed when cleaned. The grease build up can easily lead to a fire.
For this reason the minimum standard the NFPA 96 is that there should be an access point at any change of direction, horizontal run every 12 feet, and at the top of the duct where entry or inspection is not possible from the fan. On most newer systems this is done, however, many times the standard that is used, NFPA 96 or IMC(International Mechanical Code), is not enough. The bottom line is that if you can not see or reach it, it can’t be cleaned.
Iowa Fire Control offers UL approved access panels or access doors that allow for the proper inspection and cleaning of your system. If you have any questions about the code concerning access panels, please see code references in the NFPA 96 Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Operations.
To learn more about our access panels and doors, please view our video on the exhaust system components or contact Iowa Fire Control for more information and a quote.