Category Archives: Hood Cleaning Consultant

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Eds Exhaust Hood Cleaning

Kitchen hood and duct fires in high-rise buildings need to be cleaned

KITCHEN HOOD AND DUCT FIRES IN HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS 

When fire department people respond to a commercial kitchen range hood fire with fire possibly extending into the exhaust duct above in a high-rise building, the two primary considerations that must be determined while the fire is being brought under control are:

  1. Where does the duct end?
  2. Where does it penetrate the floor above if it does not discharge directly outside the building?

What is typically lacking in these fires is quick access to accurate information about these two concerns. Even if the chief engineer is available and not off duty, or just off premises, chances are good he will not know one or both of these answers.

Drawings must be retrieved from the blueprint room and read. Unfortunately, this usually proves impractical due to not being able to find these drawings or read the blueprints which are very difficult to read/understand.

Inevitably, fire crews must search for the ductwork, which usually results in increased damage to the building.

Thermal imaging cameras and a user ­friendly drawing of the building ductwork can be tremendously effective tools in quickly and effectively gaining full control over the incident.

Case Study 1

The New York City Fire Department responded to a working restaurant fire where the restaurant was well-involved on arrival and fire was extending throughout the exhaust duct from built-up grease due to lack of proper and effective cleaning of the duct.

The restaurant was attached to the side of a 45-story office building, extending out about 40 feet toward the side street. While the fire was being fought by multiple alarm companies, the incident commander accessed the building’s pre-fire plan, which the owner had done voluntarily.

The ventilation diagram showed that the kitchen duct did not pass up above the restaurant and out the roof of the one-story building.

It actually went up into the ceiling void space, turned 90 degrees and passed all the way through the 45-story office building into another one-story restaurant on the opposite side of the block, then turned 90 degrees again and penetrated the roof, where it terminated with an exhaust hood enclosure.

Fire had raced the entire length of the duct and ignited this enclosure on the roof of the second building a block over from the first fire building.

The incident commander noted where the duct traveled and terminated just as fire began to show from the other restaurant’s roof. Crews quickly chased down and effectively extinguished all fire in the shafts and roof enclosure while the main fire was continuing to be fought.

The fire was brought under control within the hour, but the first fire building was nearly destroyed and shortly afterwards razed. The fire never extended into the high-rise building itself, aside from the shaft running horizontally through the first-floor ceiling void.

Case Study 2

The Chicago Fire Department responded to a report of heavy smoke showing from the roof of a 40-story twin-tower office complex which also happened to house the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The complex was fully occupied at the time.

Just as fire crews began arriving, both towers began to evacuate all floors due to the building security and engineering staff panicking a bit because of the heavy volume of smoke pushing out the roof of one of the towers.

I was in Chicago that day, meeting with the building owner representative several blocks away when an excited secretary charged into the room announcing the fire. We decided to walk down and check it out, as two alarms of equipment began arriving on scene.

The crews were met with thousands of tenants streaming out of the lobby, onto the sidewalks and even the street fronting the building.

The first-due chief was not happy about the buildings being dumped without his approval.

The fire started in a restaurant directly beneath the trading floor for “the Mere,” with fire extending into the exhaust duct. These occupies were situated between the two towers comprising the complex.

The smoke everyone saw was the grease burning in the kitchen exhaust duct and discharging out the roof of the south tower.

The chiefs at the command post knew me and I volunteered to find the engineer and chase down the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system drawings to decide exactly where the duct penetrated  (horizontally and vertically) the south tower to help fire crews assigned to checking extension.

The fire was quickly controlled in the restaurant, but the still ­heavy volume of smoke coming out the roof meant we still had fire in the ductwork.

After gaining access to the necessary print and seeing where the duct traveled in the void spaces, I went with a crew up to the second floor of the south tower and entered a storage room, pointing to where the general area was that the duct should  be.

The crew brought all the proper equipment to do the job, including a thermal imaging camera. They were very experienced firefighters and had a good working knowledge of how to properly use the camera.

As ceiling tiles were being carefully removed, they immediately found the duct and determined there was fire in the duct at that scene. They set up a stepladder, opened up the duct and easily extinguished the fire with a portable extinguisher.

It did not seem that the fire was extending vertically into the office tower’s upper floors. With the use of the camera, much damage was avoided and the entire fire was brought under control within 30 minutes. It showed me how effective a tool these cameras can be on these types of fires.

Conclusions

The challenging aspect of fighting these fires is trying to figure out where the duct terminates and where it penetrates various spaces.

Some exhausts may discharge directly outside the building at that floor, some may travel up a few floors and discharge outside the tower at a level well above the kitchen, while others travel the entire length of the building up and out the roof.

Depending how much grease is built up in these ducts and how much of it is burning, these fires can be either rapidly handled very early into the fire or they can turn into multiple-alarm, raging fires if the fire shows in multiple points and/or extends out of the duct through a crack or open crease in the duct, allowing fire to leave the shaft and enter the building it is housed in.

It must be noted that with this occurring, even in a “fully sprinkler building” (very loose statement), it will be breaking out in void spaces where there likely will be no fire suppression systems present.

Fire crews must find and fight these fires manually. If these ducts pass through a ceiling void that is also used as an open plenum return, this may present an extra problem if the fire is pulled back toward the core by the HVAC system, while feeding on plenum wiring.

Not all buildings have return duct detectors that will shut fans should smoke be present in these shafts, plus there is not always a guarantee the system will indeed shut down anyway, as systems do fail through lack of maintenance or testing, even improper installation of key components.

A well-constructed duct is well-suited to containing fire, but where the sections connect can be avenues for fire travel outside the duct if they are not properly sealed.

Many times, building owners hire a professional cleaning firm to clean the ducts and clear the grease built up over time. However, too often, a poor job is done, resulting in a continual build up until one day the temperature is reached where the grease ignites and fire erupts.

This is especially true when the duct is difficult to clean due to many turns and elbows. Maintenance is vital to preventing fires in these shafts.

How to Identify Phony Fire Inspectors

How to Identify Phony Fire Extinguisher Inspectors

Creative custom signs can be a good way to let fake inspectors know that you’re on to them.

In recent years, cities throughout the country, from California to New Jersey, have become plagued by phony fire extinguisher inspectors.

The con is simple. First, pretend to be a fire extinguisher inspector or firefighter by looking the part. Then, fake an inspection on each of the fire extinguishers present in a workplace.

After that’s done, ask the workplace to pay a bill or even send the office a bill and get paid for the fake inspection that you conducted.

As more municipalities wise up to the fake firefighters, though, cautionary measures are easy to take. In Bakersfield, California, local authorities are looking to crack down on the fraudulent extinguisher technicians through a public seminar.

The city of Alhambra, in southern California, has provided business owners with a series of tips for avoiding fake fire inspectors:

1. Look for a uniform and a badge. Inspectors will almost always be wearing a fire department uniform, complete with a city patch on the left shoulder.

There will also be a badge above the left pocket, with the city’s name, the fire department, and the inspector’s badger number.

2. Check the vehicle in which the inspector arrived. No inspector will take a private vehicle to an inspection, so you should be able to find an official fire department vehicle somewhere nearby.

A real fire extinguisher inspector knows his way around an inspection record tag.

3. If they ask you for money, this will usually be a dead giveaway that the inspectors are frauds.

Oftentimes, the city will pay inspection fees, and if there is a bill required, it can just as easily be paid later.

4. Personnel may show up unannounced, but no fire department employees will ever repair any equipment, since that must be done by a licensed official.

If someone does show up to fix something, always be sure to ask who sent them.

This photoluminescent fire extinguisher sign indicates the location of the fire extinguishers in your workplace.

5. Call your local fire department if you’re wary that the person conducting your inspection might not be a real firefighter.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so knowing if the person inspecting your fire extinguisher is authorized to do so is worth the worry.

Be sure you know who you’re dealing with, and never give money to a suspicious inspector.

Kitchen Hood Cleaning NFPA 96

Kitchen Hood Cleaning 

WE use proven methods for removing grease and flammable residues from the interior surfaces of the kitchen hood canopies, filters, duct-work and exhaust fans.

We ensure compliance with fire and health codes. We hand/steam clean the entire kitchen exhaust hood and duct system from top to bottom. 

Kitchen Exhaust Hood system: fan, duct, filters, to bare metal in accordance with NFPA 96 Code Standards for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection

The lead technician will meet with the site manager and do a walk-through to explain the cleaning that will be performed and look for difficult areas. Exhaust Fan will go through a test run to make everything is working properly.

Kitchen will then be wrapped in plastic to protect appliances and equipment. Filters removed and prepped for cleaning.

Technician will go to the roof and shut fan down, they will check the fan belt and replace if necessary, they will listen to the bearings and motor for irregularities, they will also check airflow (draw) to make sure adequate ventilation. 

The entire up-blast fan will then be cleaned including the fan blades, back of the fan blades, the air band (bowl) and the grease trap with a non-etching, de-greasing foam. 

Vertical duct work, horizontal duct work, plenum and filter gutter will then be cleaned with foaming de-greaser and allowed to dwell. Any remaining buildup in the system will be scraped or chiseled out. 

Then the entire system will be steam cleaned to remove all grease, buildup and chemicals down to the bare metal.

After cleaning horizontal duct work, the access doors that have been opened should have a service sticker showing the date cleaned and the technician’s name Plastic curtain will then be removed. 

The inside and exterior of the hood will undergo one last hand cleaning and polish will be applied. Filters and Grease Catchers will be thoroughly cleaned and re-installed.

The entire kitchen will then be cleaned and organized to make sure that it looks as good or better than when the service technicians arrived. 

Service stickers will be added to the hood showing the date of service, company name, technician’s name and any areas not cleaned (per NFPA 96).

System will be turned back on and allowed to run to speed up drying process.

A Post Service Report will be filled out noting any deficiencies and/or challenges.

1-800-.932.1969

Example Of Government Bid Notice

S–Sources Sought – Kitchen Hoods Cleaning Services at Fort Hood, Texas

Solicitation Number: W91151-14-H-KHCS
Agency: Department of the Army
Office: Army Contracting Command, MICC
Location: MICC – Fort Hood
Solicitation Number:
W91151-14-H-KHCS
Notice Type:
Sources Sought
Synopsis:
Added: Jul 22, 2014 11:55 am

Kitchen Hoods Cleaning Services

NAICS: 561720 – Janitorial Services, Small Business Size Standard: $16.5M

THIS IS A SOURCES SOUGHT FOR MARKET RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY. The Mission and Installation Contracting – Fort Hood, Texas is in the process of determining the acquisition strategy for providing Kitchen Hoods Cleaning Services on Fort Hood, TX.

This is a sources sought notice and request for information (RFI). This is not a formal solicitation. Any formal solicitation will be announced separately at a later time.

Please note that the solicitation number used for this sources sought is different from the one that will be used in the pre-solicitation notice.

Information provided to the Government as a result of this posting is strictly voluntary and given with no expectation of compensation, and clearly provided at no cost to the Government.

Contact with Government personnel, other than the Contract Specialist or Contracting Officer, by potential offer or or their employees regarding this requirement is strictly prohibited.

Please do not request a copy of a solicitation, as one does not exist.

The purpose of posting this Source Sought is to locate experienced service providers capable of and interested in performing a non-personal services contract to provide Kitchen Hoods Cleaning Services on Fort Hood, TX.

The summary of services is as follows:

The Contractor shall provide all personnel, equipment, labor, supplies, tools, materials, supervision and other items necessary to perform the kitchen hood cleaning and repairs as defined in the attached Performance Work Statement.

This contract encompasses over 119 kitchen hoods varying between exhaust kitchen hoods, water wash kitchen hoods and ultraviolet kitchen hoods.

These kitchen hoods are located in approximately 30 facilities throughout the Main Cantonment, North Fort Hood, West Fort Hood and the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreational Area (BLORA).

Facilities where these kitchen hoods are located typically are dining facilities, child development centers and fire stations.

The anticipated period of the contract is 1 February 2015 through 31 January 2016 with (4) one-year option periods. The Government intends to award one (1) firm fixed price contract as a result.

The actual solicitation number will be published at time pre solicitation notice is issued.

The North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) Code proposed for the requirement is 561720 – Janitorial Services. The size standard for NAICS 561720 is $16.5M.

Comments on this NAICS and suggestions for alternatives must include supporting rationale.

This NAICS Code is subject to change if necessitated by the responses to this Sources Sought.

The contemplated contract will consist of services that are detailed in the attached DRAFT Performance Work Statement (PWS).

This requirement is for all services identified in the PWS. Any qualified and interested companies responding to this announcement must be able to support all areas.

NO partial support responses from industry will be accepted. The Government is seeking only, qualified, experienced sources interested in performing the services identified in the attached PWS.

Fort Hood is interested in obtaining information from industry that will help supporting a determination of the appropriate set aside category for the acquisition strategy.

Both large business concerns and all categories of small business are encouraged to respond to this request.
The Government is requesting that interested concerns feeling they can fully support this requirement, furnish the following information:

(1). Company name, address, point of contact, telephone number, Duns & Bradstreet Unique Numbering System (DUNS) number, System for Award Management (SAM), and Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code and e-mail address.

(2). Type of business, i.e., small, small disadvantaged, woman-owned, HubZone, serviced-disabled veteran-owned small business, large business, etc. under North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 561720 which contains a size standard of $16.5M.

(3). Comments on this PWS and suggestions for changes/revisions must include supporting rationale.

(4). Under which NAICS does your company usually perform all the services identified in the attached PWS. Please include the rational for your answer.

(5). Provide no more than three (3) references for no more than three (3) of the most recent and relevant contracts directly relating the attached DRAFT PWS, performed within the last three (5) years.

Include name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address of references.

Also, provide a brief description of the work performed, contract number, total contract value, and period of performance.

We are also looking for input from industry relative to how this type of service is performed in the private sector in order to maximize the incorporation of commercial standards and practices where practicable.

Responses are due in this office no later than 2:30 p.m. CDT, on 31 July 2014.

Please send your capabilities statements and responses to this Sources Sought via email directly to:

Debora Wells, Contract Specialist, at debora.l.wells.civ@mail.mil

and carbon copy Leeann Burke, Contracting Officer, at leeann.burke.civ@mail.mil.

Contracting Office Address: MICC-FH
Place of Performance: Mission and Installation Contracting Command (MICC) – Fort Hood 1001 761st Tank Battalion Avenue, Fort Hood TX 76544-5025

Point of Contact(s): Debora Wells, (254) 287-5521
Sources Sought: W91151-14-H-KHCS

Contracting Office Address:
MICC – Fort Hood, Directorate of Contracting, 761st Tank Battalion Avenue, Room W103, Fort Hood, TX 76544-5025
Place of Performance:
MICC – Fort Hood Directorate of Contracting, 761st Tank Battalion Avenue, Room W103 Fort Hood TX
76544-5025
US
Point of Contact(s):
Debora Wells, 254-287-5820  MICC – Fort Hood