We wrote about access doors (also referred to as access panels) last year, but we want to revisit this topic to explain their importance. NFPA 96 states several rules for access doors, the most significant being, “7.3.1 – Openings shall be provided at the sides or at the top of the duct, whichever is more accessible, and at a change of direction.” NFPA 96 also states, “4.1.8 – All interior surfaces of the exhaust system shall be accessible for cleaning and inspection purposes.”

One of the issues we run into while cleaning rooftop grease containment systems and hoods, is that sometimes the duct work that connects these two access points doesn’t have adequate openings to allow for our Facilitec West pristine cleaning. We want to give our clients the best clean possible. When there isn’t an adequate amount of access doors in the ductwork, it makes our job impossible to complete. This is an issue for our client on multiple levels.

When we can’t get access to clean all the ductwork, which means we can’t remove all the built up and caked on grease, it can lead to serious problems. Leaving grease caked up on any part of the hood, ducts, or grease containment system means leaving fire fuel in our client’s system. Grease is the perfect fuel for spreading fires rapidly and for starting fires, too. When there is leftover grease in section(s) of the ductwork, it leaves the ductwork susceptible to dangerous accumulation and increases the risk of fires.

When ductwork becomes clogged, it can also restrict airflow in the exhaust system which affects indoor air quality. This can be a huge issue for restaurants; it puts the restaurant at risk and can affect the lives of the employees and customers who occupy the restaurant. Facilitec West wants to keep our clients, their restaurant, their team, and their customers safe. That’s our number one goal when cleaning a system. When there aren’t enough access doors, it makes our job in those areas impossible!

As we stated earlier, (NFPA 96 4.1.8) all interior surfaces must be accessible for cleaning in order to be compliant with the code. Access doors are necessary to protect your kitchen, team, business, and customers. They help us do our job properly so we can keep you all safe! You can even sign up for our Facilitec West Maintenance Program so that you take all the thinking out of our maintenance. We come at intervals perfect for your restaurant’s output to ensure you are code compliant and safe.

As a restaurant owner or manager, you may not know where all your access doors need to go to be compliant and to give our team the best chance to clean your entire system. We would be more than happy to come and inspect your system to show you where the access doors can go! If we find that you need some, we can install those for you. It is our passion to help our clients stay safe, compliant, and clean. Facilitec West is ready to keep your business running safely, just give us a call! 888.463.2293