IKECA has 96 articles published.

Educating Your Customers On Grease Removal Devices

in Fire Prevention by
grease fire

NFPA 96 states that all hood filters must be treated the same as the rest of the exhaust system. They should be well maintained.

Essentially, all removable parts of a kitchen exhaust system (grease cups, trays, hood filters, heat shield devices, etc.) are your customer’s responsibility. Non-removable parts are your responsibility as the hood cleaning contractor.

Your customers should understand that clean-looking filters are a by-product of proper filter maintenance and not the end goal. All parts of the exhaust system must be properly cleaned and maintained prior to becoming heavily contaminated with grease.

Learn about filter cleaning frequency by type of cooking and how you can better educate your customers on this issue by reading page 20 of the latest issue of the IKECA Journal here.

A Look At Boston 7 Years After Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Regulations Were Introduced

in Industry News by

Back in 2007, a massive grease fire claimed the lives of two Boston firefighters. The worst part was that this blaze could have been prevented — the kitchen exhaust system was found to be well past its cleaning schedule. Regulations were formally introduced three years later to prevent similar disasters.

All kitchen exhaust cleaning companies in the city must have at least 500 hours of experience cleaning systems and must pass a written exam. As for the restaurants themselves, city officials are immediately notified when an AHJ fails an inspected system.

Seven years later, the enforced regulations have had widespread success in reducing commercial  grease fires across the city. Why? Because both the Boston Fire Department and Board of Health took it seriously from the start. They went a step above and assigned staff who spend their days reviewing service reports, conducting site visits, and following up on failed inspections.

Read more on this topic on page 13 of the latest issue of the IKECA Journal here.

Member Spotlight: Core Mechanical, Inc.

in Member Spotlight by
Core Mechanical Spotlight

By Chuck Howick, Sr. VP Core Mechanical, Inc., Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Division

1. How and where did your company start?
Core’s IAQ Division naturally evolved from Core’s roots as a company performing HVAC installations, service, & repairs. Simply put, our clients needed more. They came to realize that routine cleaning was a key element of “servicing” their systems, directly leading to fewer repairs and longer lasting units.

2. What area does your company service?
Total Indoor Air Quality.

3. What does your company stand for?
Core Mechanical, Inc. is committed to continuously improving its services in order to better satisfy the needs of its customers, exceed their expectations and deliver on time, high quality services.

4. How did you get started in the KEC industry?
When you think of HVAC, you picture conditioning the air you already have (Heating / Cooling / Filtering / Dehumidification / Humidification), but to achieve Total IAQ, you must be able to isolate and remove contaminants prior to them becoming part of the interior atmosphere. Kitchen exhausts do just that. So to maintain their performance we needed to keep them functioning as designed… by cleaning them.

5. What did you do in your prior life before KEC?
USN Nuclear Enlisted Machinist Mate, Engineering Laboratory Technician, and Officer.

6. What surprised you most when you started in the KEC industry?
The misconception that kitchen exhausts sole purpose was to keep grease from entering the buildings air. Very few consider the enormous amount of heat, moisture, smoke, and cooking odors that accompany that grease. A typical HVAC system would be overcome by these contaminants well before the grease built up to problem levels. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen grease an inch thick with multiple fungal growths thriving in the slime!

7. How did you get your passion for KEC and describe your passion for the industry in words?
I may have already partially answered this in question 4. You can’t have total IAQ without a fully functioning kitchen exhaust. Cleaning & servicing KE’s is a necessary step to reaching total IAQ.

8. How did you go about making the quality control changes that brought your company to where it is today?
IKECA is all about risk mitigation through training, awareness, and compliance. Delivering these attributes to my team inherently brought about the quality we desired. Technicians typically show up to work thinking they are going to do a good job. With tools in their bag including this training & awareness, they are guaranteed to succeed. With a company climate strongly embracing compliance, you get a win – win every time.

9. What were some of your goals that IKECA helped you to achieve and how did IKECA help you to achieve them?
IKECA provided the resources I needed to perfectly execute my projects in order to get return customers!

10. What do you think is the greatest value of being an IKECA member?
Immediate access to knowledge sharing. Goes back to question 8, providing the tools my team needs.

11. What would you most want to say to the AHJ’s about our industry?
Consider making IKECA membership a requirement to receive kitchen exhaust cleaning contracts. Continue to increase awareness of IKECA.

12. What would you most want to say to the restaurants about our industry?
I borrowed this from the IKECA website: “Hire Only the Best Trained and Certified IKECA Members” to clean & service your exhaust systems! The lowest bidder may not be the “best value” for your kitchen exhaust needs. Take the time to determine “best value”, it will pay dividends.

13. What is your favorite hobby?
Target shooting all types of firearms. I am thrilled by the engineering behind them and the skill needed to use them. The kid in me still likes the big boom also.

In Memory of Bernard Besal

in IKECA News by
Bernard Besal

It brings us great sadness to share the passing of Bernard Besal. To say that he’ll be missed is an understatement. His journey in this life crossed the paths of many and touched the lives of an uncountable number of people. We mourn the loss of a leader in our industry and a good man.

A dear friend of Barney’s stated, “a gentleman is someone who puts the comfort of others before himself,” and by this definition Barney was truly a gentleman.

Bernard was a founding member of the International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association. He served as President and on multiple committees. He has been instrumental in bringing our Association to higher levels of credibility and recognition through his work on the Board of Directors, as a Chairman of the ANSI Standards Development Committee and his work with the NFPA 96 Standards Technical Committee. Barney was influential in the development of the Certified Service Agent program for Gaylord Manufacturing, which has benefited so many around the world.

Barney has left behind a family that loved him dearly, a group of friends that will be at a loss without him and an industry that will likely never again see a man of such character, devotion, and passion.

Barney always left more than he took. This attribute in him contributed more to IKECA than any single influence, and what made him so memorable to us. His dedication and generosity will be painfully missed.

So many of us have benefited from the tireless efforts of this true leader, including countless food service facility owners and operators; his life’s work has saved lives. Because of his giving of himself and his willingness to elevate the industry, there is no way to know how many people have benefited from his work.

Bernard Besal reflected the character, described by Theodore Roosevelt, as a man who contended in the arena of life. Undoubtedly, there were times where he was bloodied and bruised, but he contended. Barney not only contended, but he was a victor in the life he lived.

In the measure of things that matter, the love he has shown and the good he has done, will be memorialized in the hearts of those he has left behind. 

Barney, we will miss you.

Tips for Working with AHJs

in IKECA News by
AHJs fire extinguisher fire prevention

Developing a strong relationship with your local AHJs is necessary for your business. Showing them that you know NFPA 96 inside and out could lead to potential recommendations to restaurants in your area when an AHJ goes to do an inspection.

Here are some tips IKECA learned from an AHJ at a previous Annual Meeting.

1. Know And Abide By The Requirements Wherever Your Work Takes You
Every state, city, and county will have different jurisdictions. Staying aware of relevant codes and requirements builds trust and demonstrates good faith to your local AHJ.

2. Get To Know Your AHJ
Have open communication — keep your AHJ informed of new technologies, techniques and situations you encounter. After all, you are an expert.

3. Get Involved In Your Community’s Public Safety Efforts
Your AHJ will remember you if you take time to help in community-wide fire prevention education events. Look for volunteer opportunities to bud face recognition with your AHJ.

4. Ask For Help If Needed, Accept Responsibility For Mistakes
If you need advice about a particular situation you’ve encountered on the job, always go to your AHJ for guidance. They will work with you to come up with solutions.

Read and share all of the tips here.

What Every Restaurant Owner Should Know

in Uncategorized by
kitchen grease fire

Many restaurant owners don’t know what is considered a properly cleaned kitchen exhaust system. More often than not, they are unaware that simply having a certificate of cleaning is enough to keep them out of trouble with authorities if a grease fire occurs.

Here are two of the most common questions restaurant owners have about kitchen exhaust cleaning.

1. What is considered clean?
The industry standard is “clean to bare metal”. NFPA 96 states that the grease inside of a restaurant’s kitchen exhaust system must be reduced to a minimum of .002 inches.

2. How often should a kitchen exhaust system be cleaned?
This varies based on cooking volume, but every restaurant should have set schedule for regular cleanings by certified and trained KECs. Consult NFPA 96 to view the official guidelines.

View answers to more commonly asked questions here.

4 Cities. 4 Costly Grease Fires That Could Have Been Prevented.

in Fire News by
portsmouth restaurant fire

Grease fires are all too common in the restaurant industry and often the result of improper cleaning of kitchen exhaust systems. In the span of just a few days, four major restaurants experienced fires that could have been easily prevented. The consequences of improperly cleaned kitchen exhaust systems result in tragedies like these. These tragedies are preventable. Always hire certified kitchen exhaust cleaners (KECs) who work closely with AHJs to ensure your system is clean, up to code, and regularly maintained.

Grease fire hazards can be reduced when a restaurant’s kitchen exhaust system has been properly cleared of grease, not just from the hood, but throughout the entire system. If you are a facility manager or restaurant owner, always make sure to have your system regularly cleaned by certified kitchen exhaust cleaning technicians. Locate an IKECA Certified KEC with this tool.

Spokane Valley, WA – A popular Vietnamese and Chinese restaurant called Three Sisters had a grease fire that sparked $35,000 in damages just after 11am. According to NFPA, restaurant fires peak between 10-11am. Everyone inside was safely evacuated. The kitchen staff had fired up the wok and left it unattended. Flames shot up into the hood which caused leftover grease to ignite in the exhaust vent.

More on this story here.

Portsmouth, NH – Local favorite State Street Saloon was completely destroyed in a massive five alarm fire. The fire even spread to a nearby apartment complex, displacing 17 residents – some of which had to be rescued. The saloon collapsed and all that remains of the ventilation duct are twisted and charred pieces. Firefighters from 50 departments responded to the fire. The cause is still being investigated.

More on this story here.

Miamisburg, OH – Early in the morning this past Wednesday, the staff inside a Miamisburg Burger King were evacuated when a grease fire erupted and quickly spread to the hood ventilation system. Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames before they engulfed the restaurant’s attic. The restaurant underwent extensive cleaning and inspection before reopening.

More on this story here.

Poor kitchen exhaust system maintenance isn’t exclusive to the US. This last fire happened overseas.

London, England – Three people were rescued when built up grease in Mantra Restaurant’s kitchen exhaust system caused a fire. The blaze spread to the building itself and took firefighters an hour to extinguish. A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade said, “Restaurant and take-away owners should always take care to make sure their kitchen exhaust systems are kept clean as a build-up of fat and grease within the filters can lead to a fire.”

More on this story here.


1 2 3 12
Go to Top