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.