This past weekend, I volunteered to help my husband build out a website for Las Vegas Hood Cleaning. Now the only thing I know about hood cleaning is next to nothing. I have seen Jon Taffer from Bar Rescue come across some very disgusting hoods that are so full of grease he determines the place a hazard and shuts the bar down.
So, I went searching on the web to learn about hood cleaning and came across some very gross pictures of restaurants that have not kept up with cleaning their hoods. Don’t Google that because it will make you ill. Makes me feel like going into the kitchens of restaurants I frequent to be sure they are maintaining theirs.
I have learned, however, that it is important for a restaurant to have a professional organization come in and clean their hoods. They should have this done at least once a quarter. These companies have trained and certified technicians who thoroughly clean the hoods and the area around them. They look at rooftops to be sure there is no fire hazard or deterioration of the roof because food grease if very acidic.
The State Fire Marshal regulates how often hoods should be cleaned. It can be a daunting job as there are over 1,000 restaurants in Las Vegas alone! I started calculating how many days in a year there are to inspect restaurants. If there are 365 days in a year, 104 of them are weekends so that leaves us 261 days but then you have to calculate in 10 Federal Holidays so that means there are 251 days in a year. That means approximately four restaurants a day need to be inspected. Not sure how many inspectors there are there but that is job security!
Most fires in restaurants are caused by grease fires. Grease and debris builds up in the ducts. In 2008, two fire fighters in Boston were killed due to a grease fire that started. Since the ductwork extended out to the dining room, it caused the fire to burst through a giant hole created when the fireman turned his hose to the ceiling. Fortunately very few employees are killed by grease fires, most likely they are awake when the fire starts and can get clear of the area.
Did you know there is an International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association? There are only three members from Las Vegas, Nevada and one of them is Las Vegas Fire and Rescue. They have only 400 members and 150 of them are hood cleaning companies. Dues are $880 per year plus a one time application fee of $250. Guessing most hood cleaning companies are too busy to become a member of IKECA.
Now I know more about hood cleaning than I previously did. I guess it is good to expand the brain and teach it something new.