Under the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended 1999), there is a legal requirement to undertake a formal fire safety risk assessment and to implement controls where a hazard is identified. Ventilation extraction systems, particularly kitchen grease extract systems, are a high-risk installation in terms of fire safety and the risk assessment should look to ensure that adequate access and an understanding/clarity of ventilation duct routes are documented through schematic plans and also that PPM is in place to monitor system condition along with effective periodic cleaning.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 introduced major changes to Fire Safety regulations. Fire Authorities are no longer responsible for issuing fire certificates. Companies, as well as individuals, are responsible for their own compliance with the legislation. Identified failure to comply with the legal requirements to prepare Fire Risk Assessments to protect building occupants from the danger of fire will result in prosecution of the company or organisation and its responsible person(s).
Under the provisions of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all parties. This includes staff and customers. An absence of adequate control renders the business operator liable to criminal action. The absence of an effective system for maintaining ventilation extraction systems could lead to fire and subsequent injury or death of either building occupants or of third parties. Any such event would be likely to result in legal action under the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.