AIRAH has released Fire safety – Kitchen hood exhaust systems, a free online technical bulletin on fire risks associated with commercial kitchen ventilation systems.
The bulletin aims to highlight the main fire safety issues, promote a common language, and improve understanding of the risks and resulting responsibilities of all participants in the supply chain, from design and installation through to operation and continuing maintenance.
“Kitchen exhaust systems continue to feature prominently in commercial building fire events,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson. “We have been advised there was $30 million worth of damage in just five incidents of businesses burning down in 2014.
There are simple ways to avoid kitchen fires, and they should be implemented.
“And now, amid recent updates to relevant Australian Standards, as well as recent changes to the maintenance requirements and focus of the NCC, it is more important than ever to help address misunderstandings and misconceptions.”
The technical bulletin was prepared by AIRAH in collaboration with a range of AIRAH members, industry regulatory organisations, state governments, fire authorities and individuals.
Developed with a wide-ranging focus, the bulletin can be used by everyone from technical service providers and facilities managers to operators of commercial kitchens, building surveyors, body corporates, local councils, property assessors and insurance companies.
Divided into 10 sections, the 20-page bulletin covers topics such as inherent risks and the specific maintenance and inspection strategies aimed at mitigating these fire-event risks.
“AIRAH believes kitchen ventilation systems and their impact on fire safety can be improved markedly within the community,” says AIRAH’s executive manager – government relations and technical services, Phil Wilkinson, F.AIRAH. “Systems must be designed and installed in accordance with the established rules and regulations.
“Compliance is a huge area of strategic focus for AIRAH now and into the future. And Fire safety – Kitchen hood exhaust systems is all about compliance.”
The technical bulletin’s editor Vince Aherne, M.AIRAH, says continuing maintenance and inspection need to be targeted to a facility’s specific usage, and that the delivery of inspections and maintenance must be verified.
“We believe that AIRAH’s fire safety technical bulletin will go some way to improving industry performance in this area and – hopefully – reduce the frequency of serious fires in buildings,” Aherne says.