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Catering fire at Liverpool St Station sparks call for assessment of fire risk.

Leading provider of specialist ventilation cleaning services, Indepth Hygiene Limited, has urged all catering premises owners and managers to review their assessment of fire risk, to ensure their grease extract systems are adequately cleaned.
This call follows a fire at Liverpool Street Station's Burger King Restaurant, where it is thought (according to a London Fire Brigade spokesman) that a kitchen ventilation shaft in the restaurant had caught fire.

At one point some 40 firefighters tackled the fire in the ducting after it broke out just after 10pm. It took around three hours to get fully under control. No injuries were reported.

'This is yet another case which clearly demonstrates inadequately cleaned ducts can lead to fires,' warns Richard Norman, managing director of Indepth Hygiene Services. 'On this occasion, thankfully no one was hurt, however, if premises' owners and managers fail to carry out internal cleaning of their ductwork, the chances of more serious fires remain a threat.'

He went on say: 'The Fire and Rescue Service has reported a spate of recent fires in restaurants and bistros which have been linked to uncleaned, or inadequately cleaned, grease extract systems. In a number of instances the owners or operators claimed to have had in place a cleaning service only to find, as a result of a fire, that flammable grease deposits had not been removed from the internal surfaces of the extract ducting and consequently supported a fire arising from a spark or flame in the kitchen.'

Indepth Hygiene's experience of examining post-fire debris from other fires, suggests that access panels are not always fitted in the ductwork to allow access for thorough cleaning of the entire system and as a result they had remained a fire risk.

As stated by a Fire Authority: 'Uncleaned grease extract ventilation systems present probably the greatest fire risk in buildings with catering facilities'.

In the hope of preventing further fires in restaurants and pubs, Indepth Hygiene will visit your catering establishment and carry a free assessment of fire risk.

With the number and consequential cost of these fires having increased, insurers are demanding that grease extract systems are cleaned in their entirety, not just as accessible and in several cases have disputed claims on grounds that partial cleaning did not comply with their warranty requirements.

Indepth Hygiene http://www.indepthhygiene.uki.net/assessing-the-risk.htm
12 July 2010

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