What is TR19?
TR19 is the recognized industry standard for the cleaning of commercial kitchen ductwork. First introduced in 2005 by BESA, it provides comprehensive guidelines for maintaining and testing commercial ventilation systems.
The initiative was implemented as a method of improving health and safety standards throughout the UK. Moreover, the primary focus of the initiative is to reduce fire risk and food contamination in commercial kitchen settings.
How often should Duct Cleaning be completed?
The London Fire Brigade lists dirty duct work as the number one fire risk in commercial kitchens. However, not all kitchens operate at the same intensity, so not all need the same frequency of maintenance.
The basic principle is the busier the kitchen, the more often duct work and extraction systems should be cleaned.
Busy kitchens often require TR19 cleaning every 3 months, whilst less busy establishments can vary between every 6 months and once a year.
How much does TR19 cost?
The cost for a TR19 can vary quite widely. If your ductwork has never been cleaned before, it is likely to take far more time and effort to get it up to standard. This can make a one-off cleaning much more expensive in some cases. Additionally, other factors such as ductwork length, ease of access and cleaning methods used can also affect the cost.
As with any service, you get what you pay for. If you choose to use a budget provider, the certificate may satisfy your insurance provider. However, there is no guarantee the work meets the official standard and this can leave your staff, customers and business at serious risk.
Most importantly, when looking at cost, make sure you know exactly what is being provided within the service.
What are the risks of non-compliance?
Failure to ensure your premises adhere to TR19 standards can have incredibly serious consequences.
Firstly, the risk of a serious fire occurring in your premises rises exponentially. This is due to the fact cooking in commercial kitchens creates a range of highly flammable by-products such as grease and dust. These are extracted by the ventilation system and stick to the inside of the ductwork. If these are not removed from the system they can catch fire and this can spread through the duct work to the entire building.
Secondly, in the event of a fire, your insurer will ask for evidence of cleaning being completed to TR19 standards. If you cannot produce a valid certificate this can leave you liable and your insurer can refuse to pay out.
Furthermore, you can also be issued hefty fines if you fail to take precautions to ensure your ductwork is fire safe.
Who is responsible for TR19 Duct cleaning?
The responsibility of ensuring your ductwork is cleaned to TR19 standards can reside with a few people.
The business owner, building owner, head chef and maintenance contractor all have a responsibility to ensure the work is completed. However, businesses often appoint a specific person to oversee day-to-day TR19 maintenance and other health and safety measures.