Replacing worn or damaged hood filters is very important to maintaining a safe and up-to-code restaurant.
Hood filters extract grease from the smoke that’s removed by your ventilation system.
Without hood filters, grease would build up in the ducting and eventually become a serious fire hazard.
A commercial kitchen exhaust system is generally composed of three main parts: hood, duct, and fan. The duct work in these systems is constructed to be, quite literally, out of sight and out of mind. However, if there is no means to examine the interiors of these ventilation systems, a serious calamity can
take place. Kitchen exhaust systems are designed to pull grease vapors and cooking residues out of the kitchen and into the atmosphere. As this occurs, some of the grease will condense on the interior of the duct system, and over a surprisingly short period of time, especially with certain forms of cooking, enough grease will accumulate to create a very serious fire hazard. Ignition of oils on the cooking surfaces can send volatile flames up into the exhaust system, setting fire to this grease build-up. These fires burn extremely hot (2300°F+) and can ignite surrounding areas and building materials. Serious fires will reach the roof and burn the entire building down.
To prevent fire, proper inspection and grease removal must be performed. The only way these systems can adequately be inspected is if proper access openings are installed strategically throughout the length of the ducting system.
This well known concern is behind the attempts to entrench proper access provisions into the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) #96 Standard and other code bodies, and ultimately, into jurisdiction legislation.