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TR19® Grease – The new specification for kitchen extract fire safety cleaning

By | Kitchen Extract Cleaning, News, Swiftclean | No Comments

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.

 

Our advice

  • 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 TR/19 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.
  • If you would prefer that we do not certify via BESCA VHE and continue to self-certify, please advise us before the end of August 2019.

 

Swiftclean shortlisted in major flagship awards

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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.

Swiftclean welcomes BESA ductwork fire safety campaign

By | Kitchen Extract Cleaning, News | No Comments

Swiftclean, the duct cleaning and legionella risk experts, have welcomed the new fire safety campaign launched by BESA. This was formed in response to the recent Aldgate fire in which yet another a fast food outlet was damaged, threatening the residential flats above it. Swiftclean Managing Director, Gary Nicholls, commented, “It is excellent to see BESA throwing its weight behind publicising the need for TR/19 compliance by highlighting the very real risk of fire which non-compliance poses.

“Our teams regularly tackle the results of non-compliance over a long period and witness first-hand the build-up of fat, oil and grease when regular TR/19 cleaning has not been carried out. We still, all too frequently see the kind of potential fire risk that caused the damage in Aldgate. The fact that this was entirely preventable makes it all the more concerning. BESA helping to raise awareness of the problem with this new initiative is entirely welcome and adds emphasis to our own efforts to raise awareness.”

Swiftclean recently won a coveted H&V News Award for its own campaigning efforts to raise awareness of the need to maintain fire dampers in ductwork and has also campaigned to ‘Make Hidden Grease Visible’, an initiative which has helped the company to win multiple awards over the past five years. Swiftclean is currently emphasising the need to keep all areas of the ventilation system ductwork accessible, so that TR/19 compliance cleaning can be carried out unhindered.

Gary Nicholls is also a member of the BESA steering committee which helps to draft TR/19, the leading guidance document concerning the hygiene of ventilation ductwork and has been instrumental in raising standards of compliance across the industry. Swiftclean is also a BESA training centre and has demonstrated exceptional commitment to training among its own technicians for several decades.

www.swiftclean.co.uk

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Serious restaurant ductwork fires highlight the importance of TR/19 compliance

By | Kitchen Extract Cleaning, News | No Comments

Swiftclean, duct cleaning and legionella risk experts, warned of the risks of neglecting TR/19 compliance, following two serious kitchen extract ductwork fires in London restaurants in early February 2019.

 

Eight fire engines and 60 firefighters attended a blazing fire in the ducting of a Chinese restaurant in Hounslow on 7 February 2019, while six fire engines and 40 firefighters were called to a restaurant fire in Brixton on 5 February 2019. In both cases fire took hold in the kitchen extract ductwork and began to spread through the building, threatening offices and living accommodation above the two restaurants.

 

Twenty people were evacuated from offices above the Chinese restaurant in Hounslow and, fortunately, there were no reported injuries. The London Fire Brigade report stated that the fire was believed to have been caused by an unattended saucepan of cooking oil, but the ductwork carried the fire from the ground floor kitchen to a washroom on the first floor. Both were destroyed by the fire.

 

According to the London Fire Brigade, the cause of the fire in Brixton was a build-up of grease in the extractor hood in the kitchen. One resident was evacuated from the flats above the Brixton restaurant as a precaution, but again, fortunately, there were no recorded injuries.

 

Gary Nicholls, Managing Director of Swiftclean, commented, “Grease in the ductwork is not always the cause of a fire, but the danger is that accumulated grease will spread fire further through the building and, once it is established within the ductwork, lack of access can make it more difficult for firefighters to tackle. TR/19 compliance is essential, not just for hygiene reasons but as a vital fire safety measure and to protect your business. If you don’t comply with TR/19 you can compromise your buildings insurance as well as putting staff, customers and neighbouring occupants at risk.”

 

Swiftclean has long been a leading advocate of TR/19 compliance, and provides specialist cleaning to TR/19 guidelines. MD Gary Nicholls is a member of the steering committee and co-author of TR/19, the leading industry guidance document on ventilation hygiene, which is issued by BESA.

 

www.swiftclean.co.uk