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What is NFPA 96?

NFPA 96 is a standard set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that concerns the cleanliness standards for commercial kitchen exhaust systems. Grease vaporizes from a liquid to a gas during the cooking process and then solidifies inside the ventilation ducts, creating an incredible fire hazard. NFPA 96 outlines how often grease should be professionally removed from your system based on the volume of your cooking operation. This code also outlines what specific areas of the complete kitchen exhaust system should be cleaned.

NFPA 11.6.1 – “Upon inspection, if the exhaust system is found to be contaminated with deposits from grease-laden vapors, the contaminated portions of the exhaust system shall be cleaned by a properly trained, qualified, and certified company or person(s) acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction.”

NFPA 11.6.2 – “Hoods, grease removal devices, fans, ducts, and other appurtenances shall be cleaned to remove combustible contaminants prior to surfaces becoming heavily contaminated with grease or oily sludge.”

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, from 2011 to 2013 cooking was the leading cause of fires, accounting for 63.5% of all reported restaurant fires. Neglected kitchen exhaust systems have grease caked inside the ductwork, resulting in a disastrous fire when one aspect of the system catches flames. All kitchen exhaust systems, from the healthiest vegan kitchen to a country diner need to be cleaned at some point in order to avoid this fire risk.

How Often Should I Be Cleaning My System?

How often you should clean you system depends on the cooking volume of your establishment. Table 11.4 below from NFPA Code 96 details how often your kitchen exhaust system should be cleaned by a professional based on cooking operation: When you maintain a proper cleaning schedule for your system, you ensure the safety of your facility, your equipment and your staff. Bare Metal Standard of Portland sets the highest standard for kitchen exhaust cleaning services and always goes above and beyond NFPA 96’s fire safety code requirements. When you partner with us, you’ll never fail another inspection and risk getting shut down. Bare Metal Standard of Portland can provide a custom cleaning schedule that fits your commercial kitchen business needs and makes sure you’re always up to code. Plus, we provide FREE on-site inspections to inform you of the current risks and needs of your kitchen exhaust system.

To read the full set of NFPA 96’s fire safety code standards, check out their website.

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