Applying chemicals to a kitchen exhaust system...
Applying chemicals to a kitchen exhaust system using a foamer.

Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning

Kitchen exhaust cleaning is a necessary part of ongoing maintenance to prevent fires from occurring within the hotel. In most cases this cleaning is provided on a quarterly basis although in some cases where wood or charcoal is used as a heat source the NFPA requirement is monthly. The National Fire Protection Association is a body that studies fires and puts forth best management practices prevent fires and save lives.


It is typically the standard that is followed by those authorities having jurisdiction when it comes to fire prevention in not only hotels but in almost all aspects of industry.

Kitchen exhaust cleaning in hotels encompasses the removal of grease, soot, creosote, and other fire hazards from within the ducts that carry exhaust from the stoves, broilers, fryers and grills used in commercial kitchens. These systems encompass filters, a hood to hold these filters, a plenum above the hood in larger systems, duct work, and a fan.

All these areas need to be cleaned down to bare metal to comply with the NFPA requirements for proper kitchen exhaust cleaning. In New York City the Fire Department of New York provides a special certificate of fitness for those that clean kitchen exhaust systems. This certificate of fitness shows that the person cleaning the system has the proper knowledge, as well as insurance provide the job in a correct manner.

The FDNY has special requirements due to the risks of grease fires in commercial kitchen exhaust systems including hotel kitchen exhaust systems and the special firefighting procedures it takes to combat these fires. For example with systems that are three stories or under in height they require that the vertical runs be cleaned every visit. For systems that are three stories or over the requirement becomes twice per year. In addition they have several areas that are mandatory and we as commercial kitchen cleaning companies must report defects directly to the fire department essentially “telling” on our customers.

Some of these mandatory requirements are things like access panels being present and labeled every 10 feet as well as every change in direction, the reporting of any areas that cannot be properly cleaned, the prohibition of any electrical wires within the hoods ducts or fan area, the reporting of any visible grease leaks as well as a few others. Systematic has no issues with these mandatory requirements because they promote the safety and integrity of the system. But based on years of experience in the business it is rare to find accessible areas in all systems and in many cases trying to get a business owner to correct that situation is sometimes a strenuous process.

In addition while cleaning hotel kitchen exhaust systems is important that the system is left not only clean but fully operational as well as aesthetically pleasing. So in addition to the interior cleaning we also provide a clean and polish the exterior to add to the beauty of the kitchen. It is unfortunate that many companies concentrate on this alone and do not actually clean the system to required codes. This is typically the case where a company under bits the job and due to time constraints cannot efficiently or effectively clean the areas that are critical. It is important that you as a manager or owner check the interior of your system to ensure that the proper job is being done.

With Systematic Cleaning we provide not only a good job but one that is verified with pictures from before and after. In addition we are happy to open up access panels for you to visually inspect the interior areas of your system. This way you can remain confident that your system is being cleaned properly and that your system remains operationally safe to minimize the risk of fire.