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Can duct cleaning help avoid kitchen fires?

by Neha Bhatia on Mar 1, 2017

Keep it clean: Duct cleaning should consider various factors, Eulen ME’s CEO says.
Keep it clean: Duct cleaning should consider various factors, Eulen ME’s CEO says.

Last month, Eng Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality, said that the agency’s Air Quality Monitoring Stations Network has received the prestigious European Standard Compliance certificate, making it the first government entity at the national and the regional level to receive the accreditation.

Remarking on the receipt of the certificate, Lootah said Dubai Municipality is keen to adopt advanced technologies and techniques for the air quality sector, “which has become an urgent need at present, and among the priorities of paramount importance”.

Indeed, air quality is rapidly evolving as one of the regional construction and property markets’ more pressing concerns. In July 2016, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) hosted a seminar titled ‘The Impact of Interiors on Air Quality’, organised by the Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), at its Sustainable Building in Al Quoz, Dubai.

EmiratesGBC’s seminar addressed issues related to indoor air quality and regulations that govern paints and solvents based on their volatile organic compound (VOC) content.

Saeed Al Abbar, chairman of EmiratesGBC, said indoor air quality could improve occupants’ productivity.

Al Abbar continued: “Improving indoor air quality is a key facet of sustainable buildings impacting the wellness of residents and productivity of employees in the long run.

“Through simple and actionable steps, such as the usage of the right products and proper ventilation systems, indoor air quality can be improved, thus contributing to a greener and cleaner building.”

The session also addressed the importance of raising awareness about selecting the right equipment, as well as regularly cleaning and maintaining ventilation systems. Meanwhile, in conversation with fmME, Robin Gibbs, managing director at Tetra Axis, highlights the drawbacks of not implementing the right duct cleaning programme at the right time.

Tetra Axis is ISO 9001- and ISO 14001-certified, and its microbial grease digester, Drain-Life, is accredited under the Emirates Conformity Assessment Scheme by Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA).

Tetra Axis’s service portfolio includes kitchen extraction system management. In November 2015, Tetra was approached by Emaar Properties to provide a test to determine the effectiveness of Drain-Life, in dealing with accumulation of fat, oil, and grease in its two major 3,500l grease traps.

Data independently recorded by Emaar’s FM service provider showed that after 12 days of Tetra Axis’s application of Drain-Life, the layer of fat in the grease traps was reduced by 67% from 150mm to 50mm. Odours emanating from the grease trap were also notably reduced.

Commenting on the significance of duct cleaning programmes in the catering sector, Gibbs tells fmME: “If grease builds up, then [even] a couple of sparks could lead to a fire.

“So it is imperative that when a kitchen extraction system is [managed], it’s cleaned properly and regularly. It depends on the turnover and output of the outlet as well – an Indian- or Arabic-cuisine restaurant, for instance, would be a lot busier than a small cafeteria.”