Maintaining ongoing ductwork compliance with TR/19, especially in your kitchen extract system, is essential, as Gary Nicholls, Managing Director of Swiftclean Building Services, and member of the Building and Engineering Association (BESA) steering group for TR/19, explains.
All ventilation ductwork must be cleaned regularly in accordance with TR/19 ‘Cleanliness of Ventilation Systems’, the leading industry guidance document on ventilation hygiene, issued by the Building & Engineering Services Association (BESA).
One of the most critical areas to keep compliant is your kitchen extract system, because this can harbour a potentially serious fire risk. The airborne grease, fat and oil which is produced by cooking gives rise to grease deposits on the inside of the extract system ductwork. Should a fire occur, the grease will act as fuel for the fire, while the ductwork provides a route for fire to spread to other parts of the building, often the upper floors and the roof space.
These grease deposits must be strictly controlled to keep this fire risk to a minimum. The grease layer should not exceed an average thickness of 200 microns, which is about half the thickness of an average business card. Failing to control this fire risk can be deemed negligence, for which the responsible person can face criminal charges and a possible custodial sentence.
How often the extract system needs to be cleaned depends how heavily it is used. TR/19 contains very helpful tables which indicate how frequently each system must be cleaned, depending on how often and for how many hours the kitchen is used. If in doubt, your specialist TR/19 cleaning provider can help you establish a regular cleaning programme to keep your premises compliant.
Negligence can have other consequences. If you do experience a fire, and you are shown not to be TR/19 compliant, there is a distinct possibility that your insurance company will not pay out, because you have not followed best practice or fulfilled your legal duties.
You must also have robust documentation of your compliance. Should the worst happen, you need to demonstrate that you did all you could to comply. You need to ensure that your cleaning provider provides you with before and after photography to demonstrate that your system has been cleaned to make it TR/19 compliant.
A specialist TR/19 cleaning provider will be able to provide you with help and advice as well as expert services to help you achieve and maintain compliance.