Standard Fire Code for Restaurant Vent Hood Cleaning


If you own a restaurant, there are some regulatory codes that you need to adhere to, as per the National Fire Prevention Association. The fire marshals have a standard code, and it is NFPA 96, and it involves checking the cooking operations. One of the important aspects of such codes is to ensure that ventilation systems are well maintained and cleaned.

It is vital to ensure that you have complied with the fire codes. You can liaise with some of the professional contractors within your locality to ensure you are in compliance at all times.

About the NFPA 96

The NFPA 96 is among the industry standards that relate to maintenance and cleanliness with regard to the commercial kitchen exhaust systems. While using the cooking equipment, the vaporized grease will solidify with time in the ventilation ducts, and some fire hazards will be present. The NFPA 96 offers guidance on how the vent hood system is supposed to be cleaned by a professional. The guidelines also focus on the areas that are supposed to be cleaned.

As per the NFPA 11.6.1, after the exhaust system has been cleaned and the contractor realizes it is contaminated by vaporized grease, the contaminated bits are supposed to be cleaned by a professional who is certified, trained, and qualified.

According to the NFPA 11.6.2, the devices used to remove the grease, the ducts, fans, and other apparatus need to be cleaned to eliminate the contaminants that are combustible before the surfaces are heavily contaminated with oily sludge or grease.

Why is the NFPA 96 Important?

According to the fire administration in the U.S., cooking has led to fires in entities such as restaurants. The grease usually occurs because of a kitchen exhaust system that is not well maintained since it is covered by grease in the duct. When the cooking equipment is not well cleaned, the grease residue will pile up, and you should be worried about a fire hazard present in the hood, exhaust fan, and ductwork. It means that if there is a fire, all the grease deposits will enable the fire to spread to all parts of the building, and the damage will be extreme.


How often should you hire a hood cleaning service to maintain your kitchen vents and hoods? It all depends on the cooking operations within a restaurant and how often the appliances are being used.

Staying Compliant

Ensure you have come up with a cleaning schedule that you can maintain. By doing so, you are making sure that your facility, the staff, and the kitchen appliances are safe. You are supposed to adhere to the standards that have been outlined in the NFPA 96. You will always pass each inspection such that there won’t be a risk of getting shut down because the kitchen exhaust system is unsafe.

To stay compliant, adhere to the following:

  • Always remind the staff that there are cleaning appointments that are coming up
  • Ensure you have scheduled vent hood cleaning
  • Ensure you have adhered to the NFPA 96 standards during the cleaning process
  • Schedule the next cleaning appointment as you adhere to the NFPA 96 requirements
  • Come up with a detailed report about the cleaning exercise. Also, if any parts were replaced, ensure they have been listed.
  • Ensure there is one invoice for all the locations.

If you have hired a professional to carry out the cleaning, the customer service team will guide you accordingly. Finally, you should ask yourself what you have been waiting for all this time.

Final Thoughts

If you own a restaurant, there are some considerations that you should put in place to ensure the staff and the kitchen appliances are safe. Considering the vaporized grease that settles in the kitchen hood is among the leading cause of fires in restaurants, it is essential to adhere to the NFPA 96 guidelines. The guidelines were put in place after various factors were put into consideration. You can hire a professional and ensure they have adhered to these guidelines.

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