Dear Swiftclean supporter
I am writing to reassure you that during this time of concern over the spread of COVID-19 through the UK population, we are being especially vigilant in ensuring that we take every precaution to avoid the risk of contamination for you, your colleagues and for our own team.
To date, we are completely free of any suspected cases and we have no current cause for concern.
We are continuing to provide the highest levels of service while following all the relevant guidance and advice issued by HM Government and Public Health England.
Best practice for all
Above all, please be assured that we are operating as normal in delivering our services and that we have zero instances of suspected Coronavirus throughout our business.
We are currently all well, with no serious health concerns. We hope that you too are weathering this crisis successfully and we look forward to serving you diligently despite this new challenge.
With all best wishes
Legionella compliance is cool
The cooler winter and spring months are an ideal time to make sure that your water system is healthy and that you have an up to date legionella risk assessment. Get compliant now and you are less likely to have problems when the warmer weather comes – legionella bacteria loves warm weather and tepid water.
How do you know if your legionella risk assessment is out of date?
If you have made any changes to your water system, such as adding or removing a tap, shower head or other water outlet, you must have a new risk assessment. This is because the major contributing factor for a legionella outbreak is from static water within the pipework system. Adding or removing an outlet can change the flow of water, creating what we call a ‘dead leg’ – an area in which water stops flowing freely. Nobody sets out to generate a dead leg, but you can unwittingly form one through a simple piece of plumbing, so if you make any alterations at all, you must carry out a new risk assessment.
Less well known is that if you have a change of manager for your property, you must also update your risk assessment. It is not enough to assume that your predecessor’s assessment is still valid. If you are the property manager, or the Responsible Person, it is your legal duty to control and prevent legionella. You will also be responsible in law if there is a legionella outbreak – so you must satisfy yourself that your risk assessment is current.
Legionella bacteria causes the potentially fatal ‘flu-like illness known as Legionnaires disease. For a fit, healthy adult, this is a serious and debilitating illness, but for the elderly, the very young and anyone with an underlying health condition, it can be fatal. The legal consequences for failing to prevent a legionella outbreak are appropriately serious – up to and including a custodial sentence for the Responsible Person, and limitless fines for the organisation.
Water systems must be compliant with L8, the Approved Code of Practice and guidance on Legionnaires’ disease, issued by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). If you have any doubts at all that your system is compliant, you should call in experts like our teams. Once you are compliant, ongoing monitoring for legionella is relatively simple, and we can train your team to do this yourself.
These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself:
Does my property have an appointed Responsible Person for legionella compliance?
Has the Responsible Person changed since our last legionella risk assessment?
Have we made any changes to the pipework since our last legionella risk assessment?
Are any of our taps, toilets and showers ever left unused for more than a week?
Are any unused outlets flushed regularly?
Are our water tanks clean, sound and free from ingress by rodents or insects?
Are our water tanks sufficiently shaded from solar gain?
When were our water tanks last cleaned or checked?
We can help you ensure that you are L8 compliant. Call us on 0800 243471, or email email@example.com for a no obligation quote for our legionella prevention services.
Life in a commercial kitchen is always busy, but there are seasons when things are positively hectic. Christmas, Valentine’s day, Mother’s Day, and other times are great for business, but they can be very hard on the cleanliness of your kitchen extract ductwork and can cause a very serious fire risk. Cooking even the healthiest of food leaves grease deposits in kitchen extract ductwork. If a fire were to break out, this grease can fuel it, while the ductwork itself can help the fire to spread. The more you cook the more grease deposits will accumulate.
Commercial kitchens must comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order in terms of adequate control of fire risks. For your kitchen extraction system, TR19® Grease, the industry specification, applies all the year round, no matter how busy they are. It is a legal duty that requires kitchen extract ductwork to be kept clean and compliant with TR19® Grease. This compliance will also help to protect against the possible spread of fire, safeguard adjoining properties and the public, and protect businesses from the disruption and loss that fire damage can cause.
The TR19® Grease specification contains tables which tell you how often kitchen extract ductwork must be cleaned to remain compliant, depending on how heavily and frequently the kitchen extract system is used. It also precisely sets out the limits of compliance. For example, the grease deposits in your ductwork must be kept to within an average of 200 microns, which is about half the thickness of an average business card. If, in the case of a fire, investigators find that you were not TR19® Grease compliant, it can compromise your insurance cover and even lead to prosecution for negligence.
As an expert provider, and a member of the BESCA Ventilation Hygiene Elite (VHE) scheme, we work together with you to make sure your kitchen extract ductwork is TR19® Grease compliant, and our cleans cause you the least possible disruption. We will also provide you with full BESCA certified documentation, and a photographic record, of each clean.
When business is good, the last thing you need is a cleaning team disturbing your workflow. We know that care homes, hospitals and restaurants can be too busy during the day to accommodate the disruption of a clean, so our regional site teams will visit when you need them, even if that is overnight.
Some questions you might need to ask:
When was my kitchen extract ductwork last cleaned?
How often does my kitchen extract ductwork need to be inspected and cleaned according to TR19® Grease?
When is the best time for kitchen extract cleaning to TR19® Grease to take place?
How do I prove I have complied with TR19® Grease? Do I get a certificate?
Is there enough access to clean the whole kitchen extract ductwork system?
Is my expert cleaner a member of the BESCA VHE scheme?
To find out more, talk to one of our experts on 0800 243471 or contact us for a free, no obligation quote.
I am delighted to be able to share with you the news that yesterday evening, at the highly prestigious PFM Awards 2019 in London, we were recognised with the cream of the UK Facilities Management industry. Swiftclean was declared the winner of the Partners in Expert Services category, together with our good friends and clients, Zing Leisure Ltd.
We have worked especially hard together since early 2018 to ensure that Zing is achieving full TR19®Grease compliance in its busy network of Burger King franchises, including the flagship store in London’s Leicester Square. It was a great pleasure, therefore, to be able to share our success on the night with Tony Sanderson of Zing.
I am very proud indeed of our team and of the way in which they have forged an exceptional working relationship with Zing Leisure. The judges praised all of us for forming a genuine bond and for producing measurable positive results in a way that reflects well on our entire industry.
I hope that it will reassure and encourage you to know that ours is an award-winning team. This is our first PFM Award, but is the latest of several awards and commendations, including H&V News and multiple HVR Awards, gained in the past few years.
We aim, always, to give our best on every contract, so please be assured that we are doing our best to ensure your compliance at all times. If there are further services that we provide that you are not yet using, please do make us aware as we would love to discuss how we can help you further.
My warmest regards,
In July 2019, a new specification for the fire safety management of kitchen extract systems was issued by The BESA (Building Engineering Services Association.) This is known as TR19® Grease and has been drawn up to encourage improved standards of compliance by contractors providing kitchen extract fire safety cleaning.
TR19® Grease has been developed from section 7 of the second edition of TR/19, the section which gave guidance on specific considerations for kitchen extract systems. Despite the clear advice which section 7 set out, some contractors had failed to follow TR/19 guidance correctly, or had ignored it completely, resulting in:
- Grease deposits remaining in ductwork that clients believed was compliant
- A number of ductwork fires, some severe
- Significant fire damage to properties
- Kitchen operators finding themselves uninsured, despite having employed a kitchen extract fire safety cleaning contractor
What’s different about TR19® Grease?
- TR19® Grease is now a standalone specification which places more emphasis on controlling fire risk from grease build-up within kitchen extract systems.
- Not just a guide to good practice, TR19® Grease is an industry-wide specification which must be followed by contractors operating in the sector under this specification.
- Contractors must be members of the Building Engineering Services Competence Assessment (BESCA) Ventilation Hygiene Elite (VHE) Scheme if they wish to certify their work as TR19® Grease
- Members of the VHE Scheme must also abide by the BESCA Code of Conduct
- TR19® Grease introduces minimum competency levels for technicians carrying out and signing off on-site kitchen extract cleaning. Technicians must now have the the BESA Grease Hygiene Technician (GHT) qualification.
- Each time a kitchen extract clean is carried out the contractor should register on the BESCA VHE portal where and when the clean was carried out and if the system was fully or partially cleaned.
- Registration on the BESCA VHE portal will generate a BESCA certificate which will provide evidence of the compliant clean or partial clean, which will support the Post Clean Report.
- A small fee will be charged for each certificate issued following registration on the BESCA portal.
- Cleaning frequencies should be regularly reviewed to ensure that grease can be controlled at safe levels.
- Grease levels must be controlled so as to not exceed a mean average of 200 microns between scheduled cleans.
How BESCA and the VHE scheme will ensure that best practice is observed:
- BESCA will monitor and audit the compliance of VHE members, both with its code of conduct and with the TR19® Grease
- BESCA auditors will make periodic checks on VHE members by asking to review a selection of their post-clean reports for compliance auditing purposes.
- BESCA will be able to revoke or reject the membership of contractors who are considered to be in breach of VHE Scheme requirements or code of conduct.
Our role at Swiftclean
At Swiftclean, we have been providing expert risk control cleaning and compliance for more than three decades. We have assisted the BESA over the years with both the initial drafting and the evolution of TR/19 for the Internal Cleanliness of Ventilation System. We have been full members of the VHE scheme since its inception.
For the past 24 months we have been working with The BESA and the RISC Authority to help to develop this new specification, TR19® Grease. At Swiftclean, we have always been diligent in following the requirements of TR/19 closely and, as a result, we have built an impeccable fire safety record on which our clients can rely.
We welcome the new TR19® Grease specification as a major advance in fire safety best practice and will be making a small additional charge of £5 per certification from September 2019 to cover the cost of registration and certification through the scheme.
- Insurers will look favourably on those who insist that their contractors certify through BESCA. This may be reflected in more favourable rates, so it is certainly worth mentioning when renegotiating business insurances.
- Using a VHE member like Swiftclean will give you greater confidence that work is carried out in compliance with TR19® Grease and with the updated TR19® for your ventilation ductwork.
- BESCA certification may be an added protection in law for the appointed Responsible Person.
- £5 per certificate is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
- You do have the right to continue to ask that we self-certify. However, to be fully TR19® Grease compliant we are advising all our clients to take up BESCA certification as it will be an industry-wide certification and a clear indication that you have adopted industry best practice for your kitchen and your premises.
Duct cleaning and legionella risk experts Swiftclean, partnered with Zing Leisure, have been shortlisted for the prestigious Premises & Facilities Management Partnership Awards 2019, the flagship awards of the facilities management industry. Pitted in the final-line up against FM giant OCS, partnered with NEC Group; and safety specialist PTSG, partnered with Standard Life, Swiftclean is ranked among the top three UK specialist service providers in this year’s Partners in Expert Services category.
As an expert in ductwork cleaning, Swiftclean has been helping Zing Leisure to achieve and maintain full compliance with TR/19, the leading guidance document concerning ventilation hygiene, issued by BESA. Zing Leisure is the company behind a network of franchised Burger King outlets, including the flagship restaurant in Leicester Square, London. The management of Zing are scrupulously committed to compliance and turned to Swiftclean for help after being let down by a previous provider who had failed to achieve compliance with TR/19. Zing and Swiftclean have since formed an outstanding partnership which has achieved the shortlisting which puts them among the finest examples of industry best practice.
The partnership will now undergo further scrutiny from the judges, with the winners being announced at a glittering awards dinner in London in November 2019.